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A Panchatantra relief at the Mendut temple, Indonesia 

AMuM^ W. HifJU 

.AJ] Rishtfi Reserved 

T*u.l>lishiecl Sef>t.eTxil>er X93S 
Second Impression October X933 
'X'lurd Imi>ressioii X>eceinl>er ZQ35 

C*»«aiyo«ecl mjad Printed By 

T^te XJn.l-versKry of Pre«» 

CHlcmKo, Illinois, XJ.S..A.. 



Translator's Introduction 3 

Introdhction 13 


The Loss of Friends 19 

The Wedge-Pulling Monkey 05 

The Jackal and the War-Drum 41 

Merchant Strong-Tooth 49 

Godly and June 58 

The Jackal at the Ram-Fight 61 

The Weaver's Wife 6a 

How the Crow-Hen Killed the Black Snake ... 74 

The Heron That Liked Crab-Meat 76 

Numskull and the Rabbit 81 

The Weaver Who Loved a Princess 89 

The Ungrateful Man 112 

Leap AND Creep 119 

The Blue Jackal 132 

Passion and the Owl 129 

Ucly's Trust Abused 134 

The Lion and the Carpenter 141 

The Plover Who Fought the Ocean 145 

Shell-Neck, Sum, and Grim I47 

Forethought, Readywit, and Fatalist 149 

The Duel between Elephant and Sparrow . . . IJ3 

The Shrewd Old Gander . . 157 

The Lion and the Ram 159 

Smart, the Jackal 164 

The Monk Who Left His Body Behind 174 

The Girl Who Married a Snake 177 




Poor Blossom 179 

The Unteachable Monkey 183 

Right-Mind and Wrono-Mind 184 

A Remedy Worse than the Disease 188 

The Mice That Ate Iron 192 

The Results of Education 197 

The Sensible Enemy 198 

The Foolish Friend 203 


The Winning of Friends 213 

The Bharunda Birds ai6 

Gold's Gloom 231 

Mother Shandilee's Bargain 234 

Self-defeating Forethought 235 

Mister Duly 247 

Soft, the Weaver 260 

Hang-Ball and Greedy 264 

The Mice That Set Elephants Free 274 

Spot's Captivity 279 


Crows and Owls 291 

How the Birds Picked a King 304 

How the Rabbit Fooled the Elephant 308 

The Cat's Judgment 315 

The Brahman's Goat 324 

The Snake and the Ants 326 

The Snake Who Paid Cash 331 

The Unsocial Swans 333 

The Self-sacrificing Dove 334 

The Old Man with the Young Wife 341 

The Brahman, the Thief, and the Ghost .... 343 

The Snake in the Prince's Belly 346 

The Gullible Carpenter 348 



Mouse-Maid Made Mouse 353 

The Bird with Golden Duno 359 

The Cave That Talked 361 

The Frogs That Rode Snakebaok ,.,.... 368 

The Butter-blinded Brahman ........ 370 


Loss of Gains 381 

The Monkey and the Crocodile 381 

Handsome and Theodore 388 

Flop-Ear and Dustv 395 

The Potter Militant 400 

The Jackal Who Killed No Elephants 401 

The Ungrateful Wife 405 

King Joy and Secretary Splendor 408 

The Ass in the Tiger-Skin 409 

The Farmer's Wife 41a 

The Pert Hen-Sparrow 415 

How SuPERSMART Ate the Elephant 418 

The Dog Who Went Abroad 421 


Ill-considered Action 427 

The Loyal Mungoose 432 

The Four Treasure-Seekers 434 

The Lion-Makers 442 

Hundred- Wit, Thousand- Wit, and Single- Wit . . . 444 

The Musical Donkey 446 

Slow, the Weaver 449 

The Brahman's Dream 453 

The Unforgiving Monkey 454 

The Credulous Fiend 46a 

The Three-breasted Princess 465 

The Fiend Who Washed His Feet 465 



One Vishnusharman, shrewdly gleaning 
All worldly wisdom's inner meaning, 
In these five books the charm compresses 
Of all such books the world possesses. 

— Introduction to the Panchatantra 

The Panchatantra contains the most widely known 
stories in the world. If it were further declared that 
the Panchatantra is the best collection of stories in 
the world, the assertion could hardly be disproved, 
and would probably command the assent of those pos- 
sessing the knowledge for a judgment. Assuming 
varied forms in their native India, then traveling in 
translations, and translations of translations, through 
Persia, Arabia, Syria, and the civilized countries of 
Europe, these stories have, for more than twenty 
centuries, brought delight to hundreds of millions. 

Since the stories gathered in the Panchatantra are 
very ancient, and since they can no longer be ascribed 
to their respective authors, it is not possible to give 
an accurate report of their genesis, while much in 
their subsequent history will always remain obscure. 
Dr. Hertel, the learned and painstaking editor of the 
text used by the present translator, believes that the 
original work was composed in Kashmir, about 200 


B.C. At this date, however, many of the individual 
stories were already ancient. He then enumerates no 
less than twenty-five recensions of the work in India. 
The text here translated is late, dating from the year 

1 1 99 A.D. 

It is not here intended to summarize the history 
of these stories in India, nor their travels through the 
Near East and through Europe. The story is attrac- 
tive — ^whose interest is not awakened by learning, for 
example, that in this work he makes the acquaintance 
of one of La Fontaine's important sources? Yet here, 
as elsewhere, the work of the "scholars" has been of 
somewhat doubtful value, diverting attention from 
the primary to the secondary, from literature itself 
to facts, more or less important, about literature. The 
present version has not been made by a scholar, but 
by the opposite of a scholar, a lover of good books, 
eager, so far as his powers permit, to extend an ac- 
curate and joyful acquaintance with the world's 
masterpieces. He will therefore not endeavor to tell 
the history of the Panchatantra, but to tell what the 
Panchatantra is. 


Whoever learns the work by heart, 
Or through the story-teller's art 

Becomes acquainted. 
His life by sad defeat — although 
The king of heaven be his foe — 

Is never tainted. 

— Introduction to the Panchatantra 


The Panchatantra is a nitishastra, or textbook of 
niti. The word niti means roughly "the wise conduct 
of life." Western civilization must endure a certain 
shame in realizing that no precise equivalent of the 
term is found in English, French, Latin, or Greek. 
Many words are therefore necessary to explain what 
niti is, though the idea, once grasped, is clear, im- 
portant, and satisfying. 

First of all, niti presupposes that one has con- 
sidered, and rejected, the possibility of living as a 
saint. It can be practiced only by a social being, and 
represents an admirable attempt to answer the in- 
sistent question how to win the utmost possible joy 
from life in the world of men. 

The negative foundation is security. For example, 
if one is a mouse, his dwelling must contain recesses 
beyond the reach of a cat's paw. Pleasant stanzas 
concerning the necessity of security are scattered 
throughout the work. Thus: 

The poor are in peculiar need 
Of being secret when they feed; 
The lion killed the ram who could 
Not check his appetite for food. 

or again: 

In houses where no snakes are found. 
One sleeps; or where the snakes are bound: 
But perfect rest is hard to win 
With serpents bobbing out and in. 

The mere negative foundation of security requires 
A considerable exercise of intelligence, since the world 


swarms with rascals, and no sensible man can imagine 
them capable of reformation. 

Caress a rascal as you will. 

He was and is a rascal still: 

All salve- and sweating-treatments fail 

To take the kink from doggy's tail. 

Yet roguery can be defeated; for by its nature it is 

Since scamp and sneak and snake 

So often undertake 

A plan that does not thrive, 

The world wags on, alive. 

Having made provision for security, in the realiza- 
tion that 

A man to thrive 
Must keep alive, 

one faces the necessity of having money. The Pan- 
chatantra, being very wise, never falls into the vulgar 
error of supposing money to be important. Money 
must be there, in reasonable amount, because it is 
unimportant, and what wise man permits things un- 
important to occupy his mind? Time and again the 
Panchatantra insists on the misery of poverty, with 
greatest detail in the story of "Gold's Gloom" in the 
second book, never perhaps with more point than in 
the stanza: 

A beggar to the graveyard hied 
And there "Friend corpse, arise," he cried; 
"One moment lift my heavy weight 
Of poverty; for I of late 


Grow weary, and desire instead 
Your comfort; you are good and dead." 
The corpse was silent. He was sure 
'Twas better to be dead than poor. 

Needless to say, worldly property need not be, 
indeed should not be, too extensive, since it has no 
value in possession, but only in use: 

In case of horse or book or sword. 
Of woman, man or lute or word. 
The use or uselessness depends 
On qualities the user lends. 

Now for the positive content of niti. Granted se- 
curity and freedom from degrading worry, then joy 
results from three occupations — from resolute, yet 
circumspect, use of the active powers; from inter- 
course with like-minded friends; and above all, from 
worthy exercise of the intelligence. 

Necessary, to begin with, for the experience of 
true joy in the world of men, is resolute action. The 
difficulties are not blinked: 

There is no toy 
Called easy joy; 
But man must strain 
To body's pain. 

Time and again this note is struck — the difficulty and 
the inestimable reward of sturdy action. Perhaps the 
most splendid expression of this essential part of niti 
is found in the third book, in the words which the 
crow, Live-Strong, addresses to his king, Cloudy: 


A noble purpose to attain 
Desiderates extended pain, 
Asks man's full greatness, pluck, and care. 
And loved ones aiding with a prayer. 
Yet if it climb to heart's desire, 
What man of pride and fighting fire. 
Of passion and of self-esteem 
Can bear the unaccomplished dream? 
His heart indignantly is bent 
(Through its achievement) on content. 

Equal stress is laid upon the winning and holding 
of intelligent friends. The very name of the second 
book is "The Winning of Friends"; the name of the 
first book is "The Loss of Friends." Throughout the 
whole work, we are never permitted to be long ob- 
livious of the rarity, the necessity, and the priceless- 
ness of friendship with the excellent. For, indeed. 

The days when meetings do not fail 

With wise and good 
Are lovely clearings on the trail 

Through life's wild wood. 

So speaks Slow, the turtle; and Swift, the crow, ex- 
presses it thus: 

They taste the best of bliss, are good. 

And find life's truest ends. 
Who, glad and gladdening, rejoice 

In love, with loving friends. 

Last of all, and in a sense including all else, is the 
use of the intelligence. Without it, no human joy is 
possible, nothing beyond animal happiness. 


For if there be no mind 

Debating good and ill. 
And if religion send 

No challenge to the will. 
If only greed be there 

For some material feast. 
How draw a line between 

The man-beast and the beast? 

One must have at disposal all valid results of scholar- 
ship, yet one must not be a scholar. For 

Scholarship is less than sense; 
Therefore seek intelligence. 

One must command a wealth of detailed fact, ever 
alert to the deceptiveness of seeming fact, since often- 

The firefly seems a fire, the sky looks flat; 
Yet sky and fly are neither this nor that. 

One must understand that there is no substitute for 
judgment, and no end to the reward of discriminating 

To know oneself is hard, to know 

Wise effort, effort vain; 
But accurate self-critics are 
Secure in times of strain. 

One must be ever conscious of the past, yet only as it 
offers material for wisdom, never as an object of 
brooding regret: 

For lost and dead and past 

The wise have no laments: 
Between the wise and fools 

Is just this difference. 


This is the lofty consolation oiFered by a wood- 
pecker to a hen-sparrow whose eggs have been crushed 
by an elephant with the spring fever. And the whole 
matter finds its most admirable expression in the 
noble words of Cheek, the jackal: 

What is learning whose attaining 
Sees no passion wane, no reigning 

Love and self-control ? 
Does not make the mind a menial. 
Finds in virtue no congenial 

Path and final goal? 
Whose attaining is but straining 
For a name, and never gaining 

Fame or peace of soul? 

This is nifty the harmonious development of the 
powers of man, a life in which security, prosperity, 
resolute action, friendship, and good learning are so 
combined as to produce joy. It is a noble ideal, sham- 
ing many tawdry ambitions, many vulgar catch- 
words of our day. And this noble ideal is presented 
in an artistic form of perfect fitness, in five books of 
wise and witty stories, in most of which the actors are 


Better with the learned dwell, 
Even though it be in hell 
Than with vulgar spirits roam 
Palaces that gods call home. 

— Panchatantray Book II 

The word Panchatantra means the "Five Books," 
the Pentateuch. Each of the five books is independ- 


ent, consisting of a framing story with numerous 
inserted stories, told, as fit circumstances arise, by 
one or another of the characters in the main narra- 
tive. Thus, the first book relates the broken friend- 
ship of the lion Rusty and the bull Lively, with some 
thirty inserted stories, told for the most part by the 
two jackals, Victor and Cheek. The second book has 
as its framing story the tale of the friendship of the 
crow, the mouse, the turtle, and the deer, whose names 
are Swift, Gold, Slow, and Spot. The third book has 
as framing story the war between crows and owls. 

These three books are of considerable length and 
show great skill in construction. A somewhat differ- 
ent impression is left by Books IV and V. The fram- 
ing story of Book IV, the tale of the monkey and 
the crocodile, has Jess interest than the inserted 
stories, while Book V can hardly be said to have a 
framing story, and it ends with a couple of grotesque 
tales, somewhat different in character from the others. 
These two shorter books, in spite of the charm of their 
contents, have the appearance of being addenda, and 
in some of the older recensions are reduced in bulk to 
the verge of extinction. 

The device of the framing story is familiar in 
oriental works, the instance best known to Europeans 
being that of the Arabian Nights. Equally character- 
istic is the use of epigrammatic verses by the actors 
in the various tales. These verses are for the most 
part quoted from sacred writings or other sources of 


dignity and authority. It is as if the animals in some 
English beast-fable were to justify their actions by 
quotations from Shakespeare and the Bible. These 
wise verses it is which make the real character of the 
Panchatantra. The stories, indeed, are charming 
when regarded as pure narrative; but it is the beauty, 
wisdom, and wit of the verses which lift the Pan- 
chatantra far above the level of the best story-books. 
It hardly needs to be added that in the present ver- 
sion, verse is always rendered by verse, prose by 
prose. The titles of the individual stories, however, 
have been supplied by the translator, since the orig- 
inal has none. 

The large majority of the actors are animals, who 
have, of course, a fairly constant character. Thus, the 
lion is strong but dull of wit, the jackal crafty, the 
heron stupid, the cat a hypocrite. The animal actors 
present, far more vividly and more urbanely than men 
could do, the view of life here recommended — a view 
shrewd, undeceived, and free of all sentimentality; a 
view that, piercing the humbug of every false ideal, 
reveals with incomparable wit the sources of lasting 


Arthur W. Ryder 

Bekkelet, Caufoknia 
July, I9aj 


One Vishnusharman, shrewdly gleaning 
All worldly wisdom's inner meaning. 
In these five books the charm compresses 
Of all such books the world possesses. 

And this is how it happened. 

In the southern country is a city called Maidens* 
Delight. There lived a king named Immortal-Power. 
He was familiar with all the works treating of the wise 
conduct of life. His feet were made dazzling by the 
tangle of rays of light from jewels in the diadems of 
mighty kings who knelt before him. He had reached 
the far shore of all the arts that embellish life. This 
king had three sons. Their names were Rich-Power, 
Fierce-Power, Endless-Power, and they were supreme 

Now when the king perceived that they were 
hostile to education, he summoned his counselors and 
said: "Gentlemen, it is known to you that these sons 
of mine, being hostile to education, are lacking in dis- 
cernment. So when I behold them, my kingdom 
brings me no happiness, though all external thorns are 
drawn. For there is wisdom in the proverb: 

Of sons unborn, or dead, or fools. 
Unborn or dead will do: 


They cause a little grief, no doubt; 
But fools, a long life through. 

And again: 

To what good purpose can a cow 

That brings no calf nor milk, be bent? 

Or why beget a son who proves 
A dunce and disobedient? 

Some means must therefore be devised to awaken 
their intelligence." 

And they, one after another, replied: "O King, 
first one learns grammar, in twelve years. If this sub- 
ject has somehow been mastered, then one masters 
the books on religion and practical life. Then the 
intelligence awakens." 

But one of their number, a counselor named Keen, 
said: "O King, the duration of life is limited, and the 
verbal sciences require much time for mastery. 
Therefore let some kind of epitome be devised to 
wake their intelligence. There is a proverb that says: 

Since verbal science has no final end. 
Since life is short, and obstacles impend. 
Let central facts be picked and firmly fixed. 
As swans extract the milk with water mixed. 

"Now there is a Brahman here named Vishnu- 
sharman, with a reputation for competence in numer- 
ous sciences. Intrust the princes to him. He will cer- 
tainly make them intelligent in a twinkling." 

When the king had listened to this, he summoned 
Vishnusharman and said: "Holy sir, as a favor to me 


you must make these princes incomparable masters of 
the art of practical life. In return, I will bestow upon 
you a hundred land-grants." 

And Vishnusharman made answer to the king: 
"O King, listen. Here is the plain truth. I am not the 
man to sell good learning for a hundred land-grants. 
But if I do not, in six months' time, make the boys 
acquainted with the art of intelligent living, I will 
give up my own name. Let us cut the matter short. 
Listen to my lion-roar. My boasting arises from no 
greed for cash. Besides, I have no use for money; I 
am eighty years old, and all the objects of sensual 
desire have lost their charm. But in order that your 
request may be granted, I will show a sporting spirit 
in reference to artistic matters. Make a note of the 
date. If I fail to render your sons, in six months' 
time, incomparable masters of the art of intelligent 
living, then His Majesty is at liberty to show me His 
Majestic bare bottom." 

When the king, surrounded by his counselors, had 
listened to the Brahman's highly unconventional 
promise, he was penetrated with wonder, intrusted 
the princes to him, and experienced supreme content. 

Meanwhile, Vishnusharman took the boys, went 
home, and made them learn by heart five books 
which he composed and called: (I) "The Loss of 
Friends," (II) "The Winning of Friends," (III) 
"Crows and Owls," (IV) "Loss of Gains," (V) "111- 
considered Action." 


These the princes learned, and in six months' time 
they answered the prescription. Since that day this 
work on the art of intelligent living, called Pan- 
chatantra, or the "Five Books," has traveled the 
world, aiming at the awakening of intelligence in the 
young. To sum the matter up: 

Whoever learns the work by heart. 
Or through the story-teller's art 

Becomes acquainted. 
His life by sad defeat — although 
The king of heaven be his foe — 

Is never tainted. 


Here then begins Book I, called "The Loss of 
Friends." The first verse runs: 

The forest lion and the bull 
Were linked in friendship, growing, full: 
A jackal then estranged the friends 
For greedy and malicious ends. 

And this is how it happened. 

In the southern country was a city called Maidens* 
Delight. It rivaled the city of heaven's King, so 
abounding in every urban excellence as to form the 
central jewel of Earth's diadem. Its contour was like 
that of Kailasa Peak. Its gates and palaces were 
stocked with machines, missile weapons, and chariots 
in great variety. Its central portal, massive as Indra- 
kila Mountain, was fitted with bolt and bar, panel 
and arch, all formidable, impressive, solid. Its numer- 
ous temples lifted their firm bulk near spacious 
squares and crossings. It wore a moat-girdled zone 
of walls that recalled the high-uplifted Himalayas. 

In this city lived a merchant named Increase. He 
possessed a heap of numerous virtues, and a heap of 
money, a result of the accumulation of merit in 
earlier lives. 



As he once pondered in the dead of night, his con- 
clusions took this form: "Even an abundant store of 
wealth, if pecked at, sinks together like a pile of soot. 
A very little, if added to, grows like an ant-hill. 
Hence, even though money be abundant, it should be 
increased. Riches unearned should be earned. What 
is earned, should be guarded. What is guarded, 
should be enlarged and heedfuUy invested. Money, 
even if hoarded in commonplace fashion, is likely to 
go in a flash, the hindrances being many. Money un- 
employed when opportunities arise, is the same as 
money unpossessed. Therefore, money once acquired 
should be guarded, increased, employed. As the prov- 
erb says: 

Release the money you have earned; 

So keep it safely still: 
The surplus water of a tank 

Must find a way to spill. 

Wild elephants are caught by tame; 
With capital it is the same: 
In business, beggars have no scope 
Whose stock-in-trade is empty hope. 

If any fail to use his fate 

For joy in this or future state. 

His riches serve as foolish fetters; 

He simply keeps them for his betters." 

Having thus set his mind in order, he collected 
merchandise bound for the city of Mathura, as- 
sembled his servants, and after saying farewell to his 
parents when asterism and lunar station were aus- 


picious, set forth from the city, with his people fol- 
lowing and with blare of conch-shell and beat of 
drum preceding. At the first water he bade his friends 
turn back, while he proceeded. 

To bear the yoke he had two bulls of good omen. 
Their names were Joyful and Lively; they looked like 
white clouds, and their chests were girded with golden 

Presently he reached a forest lovely with grisleas, 
acacias, dhaks, and sals, densely planted with other 
trees of charming aspect; fearsome with elephants, 
wild oxen, buffaloes, deer, grunting-cows, boars, 
tigers, leopards, and bears; abounding in water that 
issued from the flanks of mountains; rich in caves and 

Here the bull Lively was overcome, partly by the 
excessive weight of the wagon, partly because one 
foot sank helpless where far-flung water from cascades 
made a muddy spot. At this spot the bull somehow 
snapped the yoke and sank in a heap. When the 
driver saw that he was down, he jumped excitedly 
from the wagon, ran to the merchant not far away, 
and humbly bowing, said: "Oh, my lord! Lively was 
wearied by the trip, and sank in the mud." 

On hearing this, merchant Increase was deeply 
dejected. He halted for five nights, but when the poor 
bull did not return to health, he left caretakers with 
a supply of fodder, and said: "You must join me 
later, bringing Lively, if he lives; if he dies, after per- 


forming the last sad rites." Having given these di- 
rections, he started for his destination. 

On the next day, the men, fearing the many draw- 
backs of the forest, started also and made a false re- 
port to their master. "Poor Lively died," they said, 
"and we performed the last sad rites with fire and 
everything else." And the merchant, feeling grieved 
for a mere moment, out of gratitude performed a 
ceremony that included rites for the departed, then 
journeyed without hindrance to Mathura. 

In the meantime. Lively, since his fate willed it 
and further life was predestined, hobbled step by 
step to the bank of the Jumna, his body invigorated 
by a mist of spray from the cascades. There he 
browsed on the emerald tips of grass-blades, and in a 
few days grew plump as Shiva's bull, high-humped, 
and full of energy. Every day he tore the tops of ant- 
hills with goring horns, and frisked like an elephant. 

But one day a lion named Rusty, with a retinue of 
all kinds of animals, came down to the bank of the 
Jumna for water. There he heard Lively's prodigious 
bellow. The sound troubled his heart exceedingly, 
but he concealed his inner feelings while beneath a 
spreading banyan tree he drew up his company in 
what is called the Circle of Four. 

Now the divisions of the Circle of Four are given 
as: (i) the lion, (2) the lion's guard, (3) the under- 
strappers, (4) the menials. In all cities, capitals, 
towns, hamlets, market-centers, settlements, border- 


posts, land-grants, monasteries, and communities 
there is just one occupant of the lion's post. Rela- 
tively few are active as the lion's guard. The under- 
strappers are the indiscriminate throng. The menials 
are posted on the outskirts. The three classes are 
each divided into members high, middle, and low. 

Now Rusty, with counselors and intimates, en- 
joyed a kingship of the following order. His royal 
office, though lacking the pomp of umbrella, flyflap, 
fan, vehicle, and amorous display, was held erect by 
sheer pride in the sentiment of unaiFected pluck. It 
showed unbroken haughtiness and abounding self- 
esteem. It manifested a native zeal for unchecked 
power that brooked no rival. It was ignorant of cring- 
ing speech, which it delegated to those who like that 
sort of thing. It functioned by means of impatience, 
wrath, haste, and hauteur. Its manly goal was fear- 
lessness, disdaining fawning, strange to obsequious- 
ness, unalarmed. It made use of no wheedling arti- 
fices, but glittered in its reliance on enterprise, valor, 
dignity. It was independent, unattached, free from 
selfish worry. It advertised the reward of manliness 
by its pleasure in benefiting others. It was uncon- 
quered, free from constraint and meanness, while it 
had no thought of elaborating defensive works. It 
kept no account of revenue and expenditure. It knew 
no deviousness nor time-serving, but was prickly with 
the energy earned by loftiness of spirit. It wasted no 
deliberation on the conventional six expedients, nor 


did it hoard weapons or jewelry. It had an uncom- 
mon appetite for power, never adopted subterfuges, 
was never an object of suspicion. It paid no heed to 
wives or ambush-layers, to their torrents of tears or 
their squeals. It was without reproach. It had no 
artificial training in the use of weapons, but it did 
not disappoint expectations. It found satisfactory 
food and shelter without dependence on servants. 
It had no timidity about any foreign forest, and no 
alarms. Its head was high. As the proverb says: 

The lion needs, in forest station. 
No trappings and no education. 

But lonely power and pride; 
And all the song his subjects sing. 
Is in the words: "O King! O King!" 

No epithet beside. 

And again: 

The lion needs, for his appointing. 

No ceremony, no anointing; 

His deeds of heroism bring 

Him fortune. Nature crowns him king. 

The elephant is the lion's meat. 
With drops of triclding ichor sweet; 
Though lack thereof should come to pass. 
The lion does not nibble grass. 

Now Rusty had in his train two jackals, sons of 
counselors, but out of a job. Their names were Cheek 
and Victor. These two conferred secretly, and Victor 
said : "My dear Cheek, just look at our master Rusty. 
He came this way for water. For what reason does he 


crouch here so disconsolate?" "Why meddle, my dear 

fellow?" said Cheek. "There is a saying: 

Death pursues the meddling flunkey: 
Note the wedge-extracting monkey." 

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Cheek told 
the story of 


There was a city in a certain region. In a grove 
near by, a merchant was having a temple built. Each 
day at the noon hour the foreman and workers would 
go to the city for lunch. 

Now one day a troop of monkeys came upon the 
half-built temple. There lay a tremendous anjana- 
log, which a mechanic had begun to split, a wedge of 
acacia-wood being thrust in at the top. 

There the monkeys began their playful frolics 
upon tree-top, lofty roof, and woodpile. Then one of 
them, whose doom was near, thoughtlessly bestrode 
the log, thinking: "Who stuck a wedge in this queer 
place?" So he seized it with both hands and started 
to work it loose. Now what happened when the wedge 
gave at the spot where his private parts entered the 
cleft, that, sir, you know without being told. 

"And that is why I say that meddling should be 
avoided by the intelligent. And you know," he con- 
tinued, "that we two pick up a fair living just from 
his leavings." 


"But," said Victor, "how can you give first-rate 
service merely from a desire for food with no desire 
for distinction ? There is wisdom in the saying: 

In hurting foes and helping friends 
The wise perceive the proper ends 
Of serving kings. The belly's call 
To answer, is no job at all. 

And again: 

When many lives on one depend. 

Then Hfe is life indeed: 
A crow, with beak equipped, can fill 

His belly's selfish need. 

If loving kindness be not shown 

To friends and souls in pain. 
To teachers, servants, and one's self, 

What use in life, what gain? 
A crow will live for many years 

And eat the oflFered grain. 

A dog is quite contented if 

He gets a meatless bone, 
A dirty thing with grisde-strings 

And marrow-fat alone — 
And not enough of it at that 

To still his belly's moan. 

The lion scorns the jackal, though 

Between his paws, to smite 
The elephant. For everyone, 

However sad his plight. 
Demands the recompense that he 

Esteems his native right. 


Dogs wag their tails and fawn and roll. 
Bare mouth and belly, at your feet: 

Bull-elephants show self-esteem. 
Demand much coaxing ere they eat. 

A tiny rill 

Is quick to fill. 

And quick a mouse's paws; 
So seedy men 
Are grateful, when 

There is but little cause. 

For if there be no mind 

Debating good and ill. 
And if religion send 

No challenge to the will. 
If only greed be there 

For some material feast. 
How draw a line between 

The man-beast and the beast? 

Or more accurately yet: 

Since cattle draw the plow 

Through rough and level soil. 
And bend their patient necks 

To heavy wagons' toil. 
Are kind, of sinless birth. 

And find in grass a feast. 
How can they be compared 

With any human beast?" 

"But at present," said Cheek, "we two hold no 
job at court. So why meddle?" "My dear fellow," 
said Victor, "after a little the jobless man does hold 
a job. As the saying goes: 


The Jobless man is hired 

For careful serving; 
The holder may be fired. 

If undeserving. 

No character moves up or down 
At others' smile or others' frown; 
But honor or contempt on earth 
Will follow conduct's inner worth. 

And once more: 

It costs an efFort still 
To carry stones uphill; 
They tumble in a trice: 
So virtue, and so vice." 

"Well," said Cheek, "what do you wish to imply?" 
And Victor answered: "You see, our master is 
frightened, his servants are frightened, and he does 
not know what to do." "How can you be sure of 
that?" asked Cheek, and Victor said: "Isn't it plain? 

An ox can understand, of course. 
The spoken word; a driven horse 
Or elephant, exerts his force; 

But men of wisdom can infer 
Unuttered thought from features' stir — 
For wit rewards its worshiper. 

And again: 

From feature, gesture, gait. 

From twitch, or word, 
From change in eye or face 

Is thought inferred. 


So by virtue of native intelligence I intend to get him 
into my power this very day." 

"Why," said Cheek, "you do not know how to 
make yourself useful to a superior. So tell me. How 
can you establish power over him?" 

"And why, my good fellow, do I not know how to 
make myself useful?" said Victor. "The saintly poet 
Vyasa has sung the entry of the Pandu princes into 
Virata's court. From his poem I learned the whole 
duty of a functionary. You have heard the proverb: 

No burden enervates the strong; 
To enterprise no road is long; 
The well-informed all countries range; 
To flatterers no man is strange." 

But Cheek objected: "He might perhaps despise 
you for forcing yourself into a position that does not 
belong to you." "Yes," said Victor, "there is point 
in that. However, I am also a judge of occasions. 
And there are rules, as follows: 

The Lord of Learning, speaking to 

A false occasion, 
\^11 meet with hatred, and of course 

Lack all persuasion. 

And again: 

The favorite's business comes to be 
A sudden source of king's ennui, 
When he is thoughtful, trying scents. 
Retiring, or in conference. 


And once again: 

On hours of talk or squabbling rude. 
Of physic, barber, flirting, food, 
A gentleman does not intrude. 

Let everyone be cautious 

In palaces of kings; 
And let not students rummage 

In their professor's things: 
For naughty meddlers suffer 

Destruction swift and sure. 
Like evening candles, lighted 

In houses of the poor. 

Or put it this way: 

On entering a palace. 

Adjust a modest dress; 
Go slowly, bowing lowly 

In timely humbleness; 
And sound the kingly temper. 

And kingly whims no less. 

Or this way: 

Though ignorant and common, 

Unworth the honoring. 
Men win to royal favor 

By standing near the king: 
For kings and vines and maidens 

To nearest neighbors cling. 

And once again: 

The servant in his master's face 
Discerns the signs of wrath and grace. 
And though the master jerk and tack. 
The servant slowly mounts his back. 


And finally: 

The brave, the learnM, he who wins 

To bureaucratic power — 
These three, alone of all mankind. 

Can pluck earth's golden flower. 

"Now let me inform you how power is gained by 
dancing attendance on a master. 

Win the friendly counselors. 

To the monarch dear. 
Win persuasive speakers; so 

Gain the royal ear. 

On the undisceming mob 

Tis not wise to toil: 
No man reaps a harvest by 

Plowing barren soil. 

Serve a king of merit, though 

Friendless, destitute; 
After some delay, you pluck 

Long-enduring fruit. 

Hate your master, and you fill 

Servant's meanest state: 
Not discerning whom to serve, 

'Tis yourself you hate. 

Treat the dowager, the queen. 

And the king-to-be. 
Chaplain, porter, counselor. 

Most obsequiously. 

One who seeks the van in fights. 

In the palace clings. 
In the city walks behind. 

Is beloved of kings. 


One who flatters when addressed. 
Does the proper things. 

Acts without expressing doubts. 
Is beloved of kings. 

One, the royal gifts of cash 
Prudently who flings. 

Wearing gifts of garments, he 
Is beloved of kings. 

One who never makes reply 
That his master stings. 

Never boisterously laughs. 
Is beloved of kings. 

One who never hearkens to 
Queenly whisperings. 

In the women's quarters dumb. 
Is beloved of lungs. 

One who, even in distress. 
Never boasts and sings 

Of his master's favor, he 
Is beloved of kings. 

One who hates his master's foe. 
Loves his friend, and brings 

Pain or joy to either one. 
Is beloved of kings. 

One who never disagrees. 
Blames, or pulls the strings 

Of intrigue with enemies. 
Is beloved of kings. 


One who finds in battle, peace 

Free from questionings. 
Thinks of exile as of home. 

Is beloved of kings. 

One who thinks of dice as death> 

WiM as poison-stings. 
Others' wives as statues, he 

Is beloved of kings." 

"Well," said Cheek, "when you come into his pres- 
ence, what do you intend to say first? Please tell me 
that." And Victor replied: 

"Answers, after speech begins. 

Further answers breed. 
As a seed, with timely rain. 
Ripens other seed. 

And besides: 

A clever servant shows his master 
The gleam of triumph or disaster 
From good or evil courses springing. 
And shows him wit, decision-bringing. 

The man possessing such a wit 
Should magnify and foster it; 
Thereby he earns a livelihood 
And public honor from the good. 

And there is a saying: 

Let anyone who does not seek 
His master's fall, unbidden speak; 
So act at least the excellent: 
The other kind are different." 


"But," said Cheek, "kings are hard to conciliate. 

There is a saying: 

In sensuous coil 
And heartless toil. 
In sinuous course 
And armored force, 
In savage harms 
That yield to charms — 
In all these things 
Are snakes like kings. 

Uneven, rough. 
And high enough — 
Yet low folk roam 
Their flanks as home. 
And wild things haunt 
Them, hungry, gaunt — 
In all these things 
Are hills like kings. 

The things that claw, and the things that gore 

Are unreliable things; 
And so is a man with a sword in his hand. 

And rivers, and women, and kings." 

"Quite true," said Victor. "However: 

The clever man soon penetrates 
The subject's mind, and captivates. 

Cringe, and flatter him when angry; 

Love his friend and hate his foe; 
Duly advertise his presents — 

Trust no magic — win him so. 

And yet: 

If a man excel in action. 
Learning, fluent word. 


Make yourself his humble servant 

While his power is stirred. 
Quick to leave him at the moment 

When he grows absurd. 

Plant your words where profit lies: 
Whiter cloth takes faster dyes. 

Till you know his power and manhood. 

Effort has no scope: 
Moonlight's glitter vainly rivals 

Himalaya's slope." 

And Cheek replied: "If you have made up your 
mind, then seek the feet of the king. Blest be your 
journeyings. May your purpose be accomplished. 

Be heedful in the presence of the king; 
We also to your health and fortune cling." 

Then Victor bowed to his friend, and went to meet 

Now when Rusty saw Victor approaching, he said 
to the doorkeeper: "Away with your reed of office! 
This is an old acquaintance, the counselor's son Vic- 
tor. He has free entrance. Let him come in. He be- 
longs to the second circle." So Victor entered, bowed 
to Rusty, and sat down on the seat indicated to him. 

Then Rusty extended a right paw adorned with 
claws as formidable as thunderbolts, and said re- 
spectfully: "Do you enjoy health? Why has so long 
a time passed since you were last visible?" And Vic- 
tor replied: "Even though my royal master has no 
present need of me, still I ought to report at the 


proper time. For there is nothing that may not render 
service to a king. As the saying goes: 

To clean a tooth or scratch an ear 

A straw may serve a king: 
A man, with speech and action, is 

A higher kind of thing. 

"Besides, we who are ancestral servants of our 
royal master, follow him even in disasters. For us 
there is no other course. Now the proverb sajrs: 

Set in fit position each 

Gem or serving-man; 
No tiaras on the toes. 

Just because you can. 

Servants leave the kings who their 

Qualities ignore. 
Even kings of lofty line. 

Wealthy, served of yore. 

Lacking honor from their equals. 

Jobless, diclassi. 
Servants give their master notice 

That they will not stay. 

And again: 

If set in tin, a gem that would 

Adorn a golden frame. 
Will never scream nor fail to gleam, 

Yet tells its wearer's shame. 

The king who reads a servant's mind- 
Dull, faithless, faithful, wise — 

May servants find of every kind 
For every enterprise. 


"And as for my master's remark: *It is long since 
you were last visible,' pray hear the reason of that: 

Where just distinction is not drawn 

Between the left and right. 
The self-respecting, if they can. 

Will quickly take to flight. 

If masters no distinction make 

Among their servants, then 
They lose the zealous offices 

Of energetic men. 

And in a market where it seems 

That no distinctions hold 
Between red-eye and ruby, how 

Can precious gems be sold? 

There must be bonds of union 

In all their dealings, since 
No prince can lack his servants 

Nor servants lack a prince. 

"Yet the nature of the servant also depends on the 
master's quality. As the saying goes: 

In case of horse or book or sword. 
Of woman, man or lute or word. 
The use or uselessness depends 
On qualities the user lends. 

"And another point. You do wrong to despise me 
because I am a jackal. For 

Silk comes from worms, and gold from stone; 
From cow's hair sacred grass is grown; 
The water-lily springs from mud; 
From cow-dung sprouts the lotus-bud; 


The moon its rise from ocean takes; 
And gems proceed from hoods of snakes; 
From cows' bile yellow dyestufFs come; 
And fire in wood is quite at home: 
The worthy, by display of worth, 
Attain distinction, not by birth. 

And again: 

Kill, although domestic born. 

Any hurtful mouse: 
Bribe an alien cat who will 

Help to clean the house. 

And once again: 

How use the faithful, lacking power? 

Or strong, who evil do? 
But me, O King, you should not scorn, 

For I am strong and true. 

Scorn not the wise who penetrate 

Truth's universal law; 
They are not men to be restrained 

By money's petty straw: 
When beauty glistens on their cheeks 

By trickling ichor lent, 
Bull-elephants feel lotus-chains 

As no impediment." 

"Oh," said Rusty, "you must not say such things. 
You are our counselor's son, an old retainer." "O 
King," said Victor, "there is something that should 
be said." And the king replied: "My good fellow, 
reveal what is in your heart." 

Then Victor began: "My master set out to take 
water. Why did he turn back and camp here?" And 


Rusty, concealing his inner feelings, said: "Victor, 
it just happened so." "O King," said the jackal, "if 
it is not a thing to disclose, then let it be. 

Some things a man should tell his wife. 
Some things to friend and some to son; 

All these are trusted. He should not 
Tell everything to everyone." 

Hereupon Rusty reflected: "He seems trust- 
worthy. I will tell him what I have in mind. For the 
proverb says: 

You find repose, in sore disaster, 
By telling things to powerful master. 
To honest servant, faithful friend. 
Or wife who loves you till the end. 

Friend Victor, did you hear a great voice in the dis- 
tance?" "Yes, master, I did," said Victor. "What 
of it?" 

And Rusty continued: "My good fellow, I in- 
tend to leave this forest." "Why?" said Victor. "Be- 
cause," said Rusty, "there has come into our forest 
some prodigious creature, from whom we hear this 
great voice. His nature must correspond to his voice, 
and his power to his nature." 

"What!" said Victor. "Is our master frightened 
by a mere voice? You know the proverb: 

Water undermines the dikes; 
Love dissolves when malice strikes; 
Secrets melt when babblings start; 
Simple words melt dastard hearts. 


So it would be improper if our master abruptly left 
the forest which was won by his ancestors and has 
been so long in the family. For they say: 

Wisely move one foot; the other 

Should its vantage hold; 
Till assured of some new dwelling, 

Do not leave the old. 

"Besides, many kinds of sounds are heard here. 
Yet they are nothing but noises, not a warning of 
danger. For example, we hear the sounds made by 
thunder, wind among the reeds, lutes, drums, tam- 
bourines, conch-shells, bells, wagons, banging doors, 
machines, and other things. They are nothing to be 
afraid of. As the verse says: 

If a king be brave, however 

Fierce the foe and grim. 
Sorrows of humiliation 

Do not wait for him. 

And again: 

Bravest bosoms do not falter. 

Fearing heaven's threat: 
Summer dries the pools; the Indus 

Rises, greater yet. 

And once again: 

Mothers bear on rare occasions 

To the world a chief. 
Glad in luck and brave in battle. 

Undepressed in grief. 

And yet again: 

Do not act as does the grass-blade. 
Lacking honest pride. 


Drooping low in feeble meanness. 
Lightly brushed aside. 

My master must take this point of view and reinforce 
his resolution, not fear a mere sound. As the saying 

I thought at first that it was full 

Of fat; I crept within 
And there I did not find a thing 
Except some wood and skin." 

"How was that?" asked Rusty. And Victor told 
the story of 


In a certain region was a jackal whose throat was 
pinched by hunger. While wandering in search of 
food, he came upon a king's battle ground in the 
midst of a forest. And as he lingered a moment there» 
he heard a great sound. 

This sound troubled his heart exceedingly, so that 
he fell into deep dejection and said: "Ah me! Dis- 
aster is upon me. I am as good as dead already. Who 
made that sound? What kind of a creature?" 

But on peering about, he spied a war-drum that 
loomed like a mountain-peak, and he thought: "Was 
that sound its natural voice, or was it induced from 
without?" Now when the drum was struck by the 
tips of grasses swaying in the wind, it made the sound, 
but was dumb at other times. 

So he recognized its helplessness, and crept quite 
near. Indeed, his curiosity led him to strike it him- 


self on both heads, and he became gleeful at the 
thought: "Aha! After long waiting food comes even 
to me. For this is sure to be stuffed with meat and 

Having come to this conclusion, he picked a spot, 
gnawed a hole, and crept in. And though the leather 
covering was tough, still he had the luck not to break 
his teeth. But he was disappointed to find it pure 
wood and skin, and recited a stanza: 

Its voice was fierce; I thought it stuffed 

With fat, so crept within; 
And there I did not find a thing 

Except some wood and skin. 

So he backed out, laughing to himself, and said: 

I thought at first that it was full 
Of fat, .... 

and the rest of it. 

"And that is why I say that one should not be 
troubled by a mere sound." "But," said Rusty, 
"these retainers of mine are terrified and wish to run 
away. So how am I to reinforce my resolution ?" And 
Victor answered : "Master, they are not to blame. For 
servants take after the master. You know the prov- 

In case of horse or book or sword, 

Of woman, man or lute or word, 

The use or uselessness depends 

On qualities the user lends. 


"Then summon your manhood and remain on this 
spot until I return, having ascertained the nature of 
the creature. Then act as seems proper." "What!" 
said Rusty, "are you plucky enough to go there?" 
And Victor answered: "When the master commands, 
is there any difference between 'possible' and 'im- 
possible' to the good servant? As the proverb says: 

Good servants, when their lords command. 
Behold no fear on any hand. 
Cross pathless seas if he desire 
Or gladly enter flaming fire. 

The servant who, his lord commanding, . 
Should strive to reach an understanding 
On labors hard or easy, he 
King's counselor should never be." 

"If you feel so, my dear fellow," said Rusty, "then 
go. Blest be your journeyings." 

So Victor bowed low and set out in the direction 
of the sound made by Lively. And when he was gone, 
terror troubled Rusty's heart, so that he thought: 
"Ah, I made a sad mistake in trusting him to the 
point of revealing what is in my mind. Perhaps this 
Victor will betray me by taking wages from both 
parties, or from spite at losing his job. For the prov- 
erb says: 

A servant suffering from a king 
Dishonor after honoring. 
Though born and trained to service, will 
Be eager to destroy him still. 


"So I will go elsewhere and wait, in order to learn 
his purpose. Perhaps Victor might even bring the 
thing along and try to kill me. As the saying goes: 

The trustful strong are caught 

By weaker foes with ease; 
The wary weak are safe 

From strongest enemies." 

Thus he set his mind in order, went elsewhere, and 
waited all alone, spying on Victor's procedure. 

Meanwhile Victor drew near to Lively, discovered 
that he was a bull, and reflected gleefully: "Well, 
well! This is lucky. I shall get Rusty into my power 
by 'dangling before him war or peace with this fellow. 
As the proverb puts it: 

All counselors draw profit from 

A king in worries pent, 
And that is why they always wish 

For him, embarrassment. 

As men in health require no drug 

Their vigor to restore. 
So kings, relieved of worry, seek 

Their counselors no more." 

With these thoughts in mind, he returned to meet 
Rusty. And Rusty, seeing him coming, assumed his 
former attitude in an effort to put a good face on the 
matter. So when Victor had come near, had bowed 
low, and had seated himself. Rusty said: "My good 
fellow, did you see the creature?" "I saw him," said 
Victor, "through my master's grace." "Are you tell- 


ing the truth?" asked Rusty. And Victor answered: 
"How could I report anything else to my gracious 
master? For the proverb says: 

Whoever makes before a king 

Small statements, but untrue. 
Brings certain ruin on his gods 

And on his teacher, too. 

And again: 

The king incarnates all the gods. 

So sing the sages old; 
Then treat him like the gods: to him 

Let nothing false be told. 

And once again: 

The king incarnates all the gods. 

Yet with a difference: 
He pays for good or ill at once; 

The gods, a lifetime hence." 

"Yes," said Rusty, "I suppose you really did see 
him. The great do not become angry with the mean. 
As the proverb says: 

The hurricane innocuous passes 
O'er feeble, lowly bending grasses. 
But tears at lofty trees: the great 
Their prowess greatly demonstrate." 

And Victor replied: "I knew beforehand that my 
master would speak thus. So why waste words? I will 
bring the creature into my gracious master's pres- 
ence." And when Rusty heard this, joy overspread 
his lotus-face, and his mind felt supreme satisfaction. 

Meanwhile Victor returned and called reproach- 


fully to Lively: "Come here, you villainous bull! 
Come here! Our master Rusty asks why you are not 
afraid to keep up this meaningless bellowing." And 
Lively answered: "My good fellow, who is this per- 
son named Rusty?" 

"What!" said Victor, "you do not even know our 
master Rusty?" And he continued with indignation: 
"The consequences will teach you. He has a retinue 
of all kinds of animals. He dwells beside the spread- 
ing banyan tree. His heart is high with pride. He is 
lord of life and wealth. His name is Rusty. He is a 
mighty lion." 

When Lively heard this, he thought himself as 
good as dead, and he fell into deep dejection, saying: 
"My dear fellow, you appear to be sympathetic and 
eloquent. So if you cannot avoid conducting me 
there, pray cause the master to grant me a gracious 
safe-conduct." "You are quite right," said Victor. 
"Your request shows savoir faire. For 

The earth has a limit. 

The mountains, the sea; 
The deep thoughts of kings are 

Without boundary. 

Do you then remain in this spot. Later, when I have 
held him to an agreement, I will conduct you to him." 
Then Victor returned to Rusty and said: "Mas- 
ter, he is no ordinary creature. He has served as the 
vehicle of blessed Shiva. And when I questioned him, 
he said: 'Great Shiva was satisfied with me and bade 


me crop the grass beside the Jumna. Why make a 
long story of it? The blessed one has given me this 
forest as a playground.' " 

At this Rusty was frightened, and he said: "I 
knew it, I knew it. Only by special favor of the gods 
do creatures wander in a wild wood, bellowing like 
that, and fearlessly cropping the grass. But what did 
you say?" 

"Master," said Victor, "I said: 'This forest is the 
domain of Rusty, vehicle of Shiva's passionate wife. 
Hence you come as a guest. You must meet him, 
must spend your time in brotherly love, must eat, 
drink, work, play, and make your home with him.* 
All this he promised, adding: 'You must make your 
master grant me a safe-conduct.' As to that, the mas- 
ter is the sole judge." 

At this Rusty was delighted and said: "Splendid, 
my intelligent servant, splendid! You must have tak- 
en counsel with my own heart before speaking. I grant 
him a safe-conduct. You must hasten to conduct 
him here, but not until he too has bound himself by 
oath toward me. Yes, there is sound sense in the say- 

Polished, fully tested, 

Sturdy too, and straight 
Are the pillars proper 
To a house — or state. 


^A^t is shown in hours of crisis: 
Doctors' wit, in sore disease; 


C)unseIors', in patching friendship — 
All are wise in hours of ease." 

Now Victor thought, as he set out to meet 
Lively: "Well, well! The master is gracious to me 
and ready to do my bidding. So there is none more 
blest than I. For 

Four things are nectar: milky food; 

A fire in chilly weather; 
An honor granted by the king; 

And loved ones, come together." 

So he found Lively, and said respectfully: "My 
friend, I won the old master's favor for you, and made 
him give you a safe-conduct. You may go without 
anxiety. Still, though you have favor in the eyes of 
the king, you must act in agreement with me. You 
must not play the haughty master. I for my part, 
in alliance with you, will take the r6Ie of counselor, 
and bear the whole burden of administration. Thus 
we shall both enjoy royal affluence. For 

A sinful chase — yet men can stalk 

The treasures of the crown: 
One starts the quarry from its lair; 

Another strikes it down. 

And again: 

Whoever is too haughty to 

Pay king's retainers honor due. 

Will find his feet are tottering — 

So merchant Strong-Tooth with the king." 

"How was that?" asked Lively. And Victor told 
the story of 


There is a city called Growing City on the earth's 
surface. In it lived a merchant named Strong-Tooth 
who directed the whole administration. So long as he 
handled city business and royal business, all the in- 
habitants were satisfied. Why spin it out? Nobody 
ever saw or heard of his like for cleverness. For there 
is much wisdom in the proverb: 

Suppose he minds the king's affairs, 

The common people hate him; 
And if he plays the democrat. 

The prince will execrate him: 
So, since the struggling interests 

Are wholly contradictory, 
A manager is hard to find 

Who gives them both the victory. 

While he occupied this position, he once had a 
daughter married. To the wedding he invited all the 
townspeople and the king's entourage, paid them 
much honor, feasted them, and regaled them with 
gifts of garments and the like. And when the wedding 
was over, he conducted the king home with his ladies 
and showed him reverence. 

Now the king had a house-cleaning drudge named 
Bull, who took a seat that did not belong to him — 
this in the very palace, and in the presence of the 
king's professor. So Strong-Tooth administered a cuf- 
fing and drove him out. From that moment the hu- 
miliation so rankled in Bull's inner soul that he had 
no rest even at night. Yet he thought: "After all. 


why should I grow thin? It does me no good. For 
I cannot possibly hurt him. And there is sense in the 

Indulge no angry, shameless wish 

To hurt, unless you can: 
The chick-pea, hopping up and down. 
Will crack no frying-pan." 

Now one morning, as he was sweeping near the 
bed where the king lay half awake, he said: "What 
impudence! Strong-Tooth kisses the queen." When 
the king heard this, he jumped up in a hurry, crying: 
"Come, come. Bull ! Is that thing true that you were 
muttering? Has the queen been kissed by Strong- 

"O King," answered Bull, "I was awake all night 
because I am passionately fond of gambling. So sleep 
overpowered me even when I was busy with my 
sweeping. I do not know what I said." 

But the jealous king thought: "Yes, he has free 
entrance to my palace. So has Strong-Tooth. Per- 
haps he actually saw the fellow hugging the queen. 
For the proverb says: 

Whate'er a man desires, sees, does 

In broad daylight. 
Still mindful, he will say or do 

Asleep at night. 

And again: 

Whatever secrets, good or ill. 
Men in their bosoms keep. 
Are soon betrayed when they are drunk 
Or talking in their sleep. 


In any case, what doubt can there be where a woman 
is concerned? 

With one she tries the gossip's art; 

Her glances with a second flirt; 
She holds another in her heart: 

Whom does she love enough to hurt? 

And again: 

The logs will glut the hungry fire, 
The rivers glut the sea's desire. 
And Death with life be glutted, when 
The flirt has had enough of men. 

No chance, no corner dark. 

No man to woo; 
Then, holy sage, you find 

A woman true. 

And once again: 

The blunderhead who thinks: 

'My love loves me,' 
Is ever in her power; 

A tame bird, he." 

After all this lamentation, he withdrew his favor 
forthwith from Strong-Tooth. Not to make a long 
story of it, he forbade his entrance at court. 

When Strong-Tooth saw that the monarch's favor 
was suddenly withdrawn, he thought: "Ah me! 
There is wisdom in the stanza: 

Whom does not fortune render proud? 

Whom does not death lay low? 
To what rouS do passions not 

Bring never ceasing woe? 


What beggar can be dignified? 

Whose heart no woman stings? 
Who, trapped by scamps, comes safely oiF? 

Who is beloved of kings? 

And again: 

Who ever saw or heard 
A gambler's truthful word, 
A neat and cleanly crow, 
A woman going slow 
In love, a kindly snake, 
A eunuch's pluck awake, 
A drunkard's love of science, 
A king in friends' alliance? 

And yet I never committed an unfriendly act against 
the king-T-or anyone else — not even in a dream, not 
even by mere words. So why does the king withdraw 
his favor from me?" 

Now one day Bull, the sweeper, saw Strong- 
Tooth stopped at the palace gate, and he laughed 
aloud, saying to the doorkeepers: "Be careful, door- 
keepers ! This fellow Strong-Tooth's temper has been 
spoiled by the king's favor and he dispenses arrests 
and releases. If you stop him, you will get a cuffing, 
just like me." 

And Strong-Tooth reflected on hearing this: "1 
see. It was Bull's doing. Well, there is sense in the 

Though foolish, base, and lacking pride, 
A servant at the monarch's side 
Will have his honor satisfied. 


Though fashioned on a cowardly plan 
And mean, a royal servant can 
Resent affronts from any man." 

After this lamentation he went home, abashed and 
deeply stirred. Then he summoned Bull in the eve- 
ning, gave him two garments as an honorable present, 
and said: "My good fellow, I did not drive you out 
by order of the king. It was because I saw you, in the 
chaplain's presence, sitting where you did not belong, 
that I humiliated you." 

Now Bull received the two garments as if they 
were the Kingdom of Heaven, and feeling intense 
satisfaction, he said: "Friend merchant, I forgive 
you. You will soon see the reward of the honor shown 
me in the king's favor and such things." With this 
he departed in high glee. For there is wisdom in the 

A little thing will lift him high, 

A little make him fall: 
'Twixt balance-beam and scamp there is 
No difference at all. 

On the next day Bull entered the palace, and did 
his sweeping. And while the king lay half awake, he 
said: "What intelligence! When our king sits at stool, 
he eats a cucumber." 

Now the king, hearing this, rose in amazement and 
said: "Come, come. Bull! What twaddle is this? But 
I remember that you are a house-servant and do not 
kill you. Did you ever see me engaged in that occupa- 


"O King," said Bull, "I was awake all night be- 
cause I am passionately fond of gambling. So drowsi- 
ness overcame me in the very act of doing my sweep- 
ing, I do not know what I was muttering. Pardon 
me, master. I was really asleep." 

Then the king thought: "Why, from the day of 
my birth I never ate a cucumber while engaged in 
that occupation. And since this blockhead has talked 
unimaginable nonsense about me, it must be the same 
with Strong-Tooth. This being so, I made a mistake 
in taking the poor man's honors from him. Nothing 
of the sort is conceivable with such men. And in his 
absence all the king's business and city business is at 
loose ends." 

After thus considering the matter from every 
point of view, he summoned Strong-Tooth, presented 
him with gems from his own person and with gar- 
ments, and reinstated him. 

"And that is why I say: 

Whoever is too haughty to 

Pay king's retainers honor due, .... 

and the rest of it." "My dear fellow," said Lively, 
"your argument is quite convincing. Let it be as you 

After this Victor took him to Rusty and said: "O 
King, here is Lively. I have brought him hither. The 
future rests with the king." Then Lively bowed re- 
spectfully and stood before the king in a modest atti- 


tude. Thereupon Rusty extended over him a right 
paw plump, firm, massive, adorned with claws as 
formidable as thunderbolts, and said with deference: 
"Do you enjoy health ? Why do you dwell in this wild 

Thus questioned. Lively related accurately his 
separation from merchant Increase and the others. 
And Rusty, after listening to the story, said: "Have 
no fear, comrade. Protected by my paws, lead your 
own life in this forest. Furthermore, you must al- 
ways take your amusements in my vicinity. For this 
forest has many drawbacks, since it swarms vnth 
numerous savage creatures." And Lively made an- 
swer: "Very well, O King." 

Then the king of beasts went down to the bank 
of the Jumna, drank and bathed his fill, and plunged 
again into the forest, wherever inclination led him. 

Thus the time passed, the mutual affection of the 
two increasing daily. Now Lively had assimilated 
solid intelligence by mastering numerous authorita- 
tive works, so that in a very few days he planted dis- 
cernment in Rusty, dull as was his mind. He weaned 
him from forest habits and taught him village man- 
ners. Why spin it out? Lively and Rusty did nothing 
but hold secret confabulations every day. 

This being so, all the other animals of the retinue 
were kept at a distance. As for the two jackals, they 
did not even have the entr6e. More than that, as 
soon as they lacked the lion's prowess, the whole com- 


pany of animals, not excluding the two jackals, suf- 
fered grievously from hunger and huddled together. 
As the proverb puts it: 

A king, though proud and pure of birth. 

Will see his servants flee 
A court where no rewards are won. 

As birds a withered tree. 

And again: 

They may be honored gentlemen, 

They may devoted be. 
Yet servants leave a monarch who 

Forgets the salary. 

While, on the other hand: 

A king may scold 
Yet servants hold, 
If he but pay 
Upon the day. 

Indeed, all the creatures in this world, adopting 
cajolery or one of the other three devices, live by eat- 
ing one another. For example: 

Some eat the countries; these are kings; 
The doctors, those whom sickness stings; 
The merchants, those who buy their things; 
And learnM men, the fools. 

The married are the clergy's meat; 
The thieves devour the indiscreet; 
The flirts their eager lovers eat; 
And Labor eats us all. 

They keep deceitful snares in play; 
They lie in wait by night and day; 


And when occasion offers, prey 
Like fish on lesser fish. 

Now Cheek and Victor, robbed of their master's 
favor, took counsel together — for their throats were 
pinched with hunger. And Victor said: "Cheek, my 
noble friend, we two seem to have lost our job. For 
Rusty takes such delight in Lively's conversation 
that he neglects his business. And the whole court is 
scattered every which way. What is to be done?" 

And Cheek replied: "Even if the master does not 
take your advice, still you should admonish him to 
correct his faults. For the proverb says: 

Good counselors should warn a king 

Although he pay no heed 
(As Vidur warned the monarch blind) 

To cease from evil deed. 

And again: 

Good counselors or drivers may not duck 
From kings or elephants that run amuck. 

Besides, in introducing this grass-nibbler to the mas- 
ter you were handling live coals." And Victor an- 
swered: "You are right. The fault is mine, not the 
master's. As the saying goes: 

The jackal at the ram-fight; 

And we, when tricked by June; 
The meddling friend — ^were playing 

A self-defeating tune." 

"How was that?" asked Cheek. And Victor told 
three stories in one, called 



In a certain district there was a monastery in a 

secluded spot. In it lived a holy man named Godly, 

who in course of time acquired a great sum of money 

by selling finely woven garments, the numerous oflFer- 

ings of the faithful for whom he performed sacrifices. 

As a result, he trusted no man, and kept his treasure 

under his arm by night and day. For there is wisdom 

in the proverb: 

Money causes pain in getting; 
In the keeping, pain and fretting; 
Pain in loss and pain in spending: 
Damn the trouble never ending! 

Now a rogue named June, who took other people's 
money from them, observed the treasure under his 
arm, and reflected: "How am I to take this treasure 
from him ? In the first place, I cannot pierce the wall 
of the cell, which is compactly built of solid stone. 
And I cannot enter the door, which is too high. I will 
talk to him, win his confidence, and become his dis- 
ciple, for he will be in my power when I have his con- 
fidence. As the proverb says: 

None lacking shrewdness flatter well; 
None but a lover plays the swell; 
No saints are found in judgment seats; 
No clear, straightforward speaker cheats." 

Having thus made up his mind, he drew near to 
Godly, uttered the words: "Glory to Shiva. Amen," 
fell flat on his face, and spoke with deference: "O 
holy sir! All life is vanity. Youth slips by like a 


mountain torrent. The days of our life are like a fire 
in chaflF. Delights of the flesh are as the shadow of a 
cloud. Union with son, friend, servant, wife, is but a 
dream. All this I discern clearly. What shall I do 
that I may safely cross the sea of many lives?" 

On hearing this, Godly said respectfully: "My 
son, blest are you, being thus indifferent to the world 
in early youth. What says the proverb? 

'Tis only saints in youth 
That can be saints in truth: 
Ah, who is not a saint 
When ebbing passions faint? 

And again: 

First mind, then body ages 
In case of holy sages: 
The body ages first, 
Mind never, in the worst. 

"And as for your search to find a means of safely 

crossing the sea of many lives, just listen to this: 

A hangman with his matted hair, 
Or serf, or other man, through prayer 
To holy Shiva, changes caste. 
Becomes pure Brahman at the last. 

Six syllables, a little prayer; 
A single blossom resting there 
On Shiva's symbol — and on earth 
No further pain, no later birth." 

When he had listened to this, June clasped the 
holy man's feet and said deferentially: "This being 
so, holy sir, pray do me the favor of imposing a vow." 


"My son," answered Godly, "I am ready to oblige 

you. But you must not enter my cell by night. For 

renunciation is recommended to ascetics, to you and 

to me as well. As the proverb puts it: 

Ascetics come to grief through greed; 

And kings, who evil counsels heed; 

Children through petting, wives through wine, 

Through wicked sons a noble line; 

A Brahman through unstudied books, 

A character through haunting crooks; 

A farm is ruined through neglect; 

And friendship, lacking kind respect; 

Love dies through absence; fortunes crash 

Through naughtiness; and hoarded cash 

Through carelessness or giving rash. 

So, after taking the vow, you must sleep in a hut of 
thatch at the monastery gate." 

"Holy sir," said the other, "your prescription is 
the law of my life. I shall need it in the next world." 
So, the sleeping arrangements being made. Godly 
graciously gave him initiation and granted disciple- 
ship. June for his part made the holy man very happy 
by rubbing his hands and feet, bringing writing- 
paper, and other services. Still, Godly kept his treas- 
ure under his arm. 

As the time passed in this manner, June reflected: 
"Dear me! Do what I will, he does not trust me. So 
shall I kill him with a knife in broad daylight? Or 
give him poison? Or butcher him like a beast?" 

While he was reflecting thus, the son of a pupil of 
Godly's came from the village, bearing an invitation. 


And he said: "Holy sir, pray come to my house for 
the ceremony of the sacred thread." And when Godly 
heard this, he started with June. 

Now as he traveled, he came to a river, seeing 
which he took the treasure from under his arm, 
wrapped it carefully in his patched ascetic robe, wor- 
shiped the appropriate gods, and said to June: "June, 
I must step aside. Please keep careful watch of this 
robe and of the necessary until I return." With these 
words he moved away. And as soon as he was out of 
sight, June seized the treasure and decamped. 


Now Godly sat down perfectly carefree, for his 
disciple's countless virtues had lulled his suspicions. 
As he rested, he saw a herd of rams, and two of them 
fighting. These two would angrily draw apart and 
dash together, their slablike foreheads crashing so 
that blood flowed freely. This spectacle attracted a 
jackal whose soul was in the fetters of carnivorous 
desire, and he stood between the two, lapping up the 

When Godly observed this, he thought: "Well, 
well! This is a dull-witted jackal. If he happens to be 
between just when they crash, he will certainly meet 
death. This inference seems inescapable to me." 

Now the next time, being greedy as ever to lap up 
the blood, the jackal did not move away, was caught 
between the crashing heads, and was killed. Then 


Godly said: "The jackal at the ram-fight," and griev- 
ing for him, started to resume his treasure. 

He returned in no haste, but when he failed to 
find June, he hurried through a ceremony of purifica- 
tion, then examined his robe. Finding the treasure 
gone, he fell to the ground in a swoon, murmuring: 
"Oh, oh! I am robbed." In a moment he came to 
himself, rose again, and started to scream: "June, 
June! Where did you go after cheating me ? Give me 
answer!" With this repeated lamentation he moved 
slowly on, picking up his disciple's tracks and mutter- 
ing: "And we, when tricked by June." 

Now as he walked along. Godly spied a weaver 
who with his wife was on his way to a neighboring 
city for liquor to drink, and he called out: "Look 
here, my good fellow! I come to you a guest, brought 
by the evening sun. I do not know a soul in the vil- 
lage. Let me receive the treatment due a guest. For 
the proverb says: 

No stranger may be turned aside 
Who seeks your door at eventide; 
Nay, honor him and you shall be 
Transmuted into deity. 

And again: 

Some straw, a floor, and water, 

With kindly words beside: 
These four are never wanting 
Where pious folk abide. 


And once again: 

The sacred fires by kindly word 
And Indra by the chair is stirred, 
Krishna by water for the feet, 
The Lord of All by things to eat." 

On hearing this, the weaver said to his wife: "Go, 
my dear. Take this guest to the house. Treat him hos- 
pitably, giving him water for the feet, food, a bed, 
and so on. And stay in the house yourself. I will 
bring plenty of wine and meat for you." With this he 
went farther. 

So the wife started home with Godly, and she 
showed a laughing countenance, for she was a whore 
and had a certain swain in mind. Indeed, there is 
sense in the verse: 

When night is dark 

And dark the day, 
When streets are mired 

With sticky clay, 
When husband lingers 

Far away, 
The flirt becomes 

Supremely gay. 

The wench cares not 

A straw to miss 
The covered couch. 

The husband's kiss. 
The pleasant bed; 

In place of this 
She ever seeks 

A stolen bliss. 


And again: 

For stranger men 

The slut will see 
The ruin of 

Her family, 
The world's reproach. 

The jailer's key — 
Will risk a death 

She cannot flee. 

Then she went home, offered Godly a rickety cot 
and said: "My holy sir, a woman friend has come 
from the village and I must speak to her. I will be 
back directly. Meanwhile, you may stay in our 
house. But please be careful." With this she put on 
her best things and started to find her swain. 

At this moment she ran into her husband, clasp- 
ing a jug of wine. He was reeling drunk, his hair was 
towsled, and he stumbled at every step. She ran 
when she saw him, entered the house, took off her 
finery, and appeared as usual. 

Now the weaver had seen her flee, had observed 
the finery, and since he had previously heard the gos- 
sip that went the rounds about her, his heart was 
troubled and anger overcame him. So he entered the 
house and said: "You wench! You whore! Where 
were you going ?" 

And she replied: "I have not been out since I left 

you. What is this drunken twaddle? There is sense 

in the proverb: 

After wine and fever, these 
Selfsame symptoms come: 


Shaking, falling to the ground, 
Mad delirium. 

And again: 

The setting sun and drunken man 

Are both a fiery red; 
They sink in naked helplessness; 

Their dignity is dead." 

When he had taken the scolding and had noticed 
her change of dress, he said: "Whore! I have heard 
gossip about you for a long time. Today I have seen 
the proof. I am going to give you what you deserve." 
So he beat her limp with a club, tied her firmly to a 
post, and fell into a drunken slumber. 

At this juncture her friend, the barber's wife, 
learning that the weaver was asleep, came in and said: 
"My dear, he is waiting for you over there — ^you 
know who. Go at once." But the weaver's wife re- 
plied: "Just see what a fix I am in. How can I go? 
You must return and tell my adorer that I cannot 
possibly meet him there at this moment." 

"My dear," said the barber's wife, "do not say 
things like that. For a wench of spirit this is no way 
to behave. As the saying goes: 

Those who earn the name of bless^ 

Show a camel-like persistence 
When they pluck the fruit of pleasure. 

Counting neither toil nor distance. 

And again: 

As the other world is doubtful 
And as scandal misses truth. 


When you've hooked another's lover. 
Best enjoy the fruit of youth. 

And once again: 

Fate may rob him of his manhood. 
He may handsome be or ugly, 

Yet a wench, whate'er it cost her. 
Entertains her lover snugly." 

"Very fine indeed," said the weaver's wife. "But 
tell me how I am to go when I am tied fast. And here 
lies my husband — the brute!" "My dear," said the 
barber's wife, "he is helpless with drink and will not 
wake until the sun's rays reach him. I will set you 
free and take your place myself. But you must hurry 
back when you have entertained your admirer." 

This she did, and a moment later the weaver rose 
a little mollified, and said drunkenly: "Come, you 
nagger! If you will stay at home after today and stop 
nagging, I will set you free." The barber's wife said 
nothing, fearing that her voice would betray her. 
Even when he repeated his offer, she made no answer. 
Then he became angry and cut off her nose with a 
sharp knife. And he said: "Whore! Now you can 
stay there. I shall not be nice to you again." So he 
fell asleep, muttering. Now Godly, having lost his 
money, was so tormented by hunger that he could 
not sleep, and was a witness of all that the women did. 

Presently the weaver's wife, after enjoying the 
full delight of love with her swain, came home and 
said to the barber's wife: "Well, are you all right? 
I hope that brute did not get up while I was gone." 


And the barber's wife answered: "The rest of me is 
all right. But I've lost my nose. Set me free quick, 
before he wakes up. I want to go home. If not, he 
will do something worse next time, cut off ears and 

So the wench freed the barber's wife, took her 
former position, and cried reproachfully: "Oh, you 
dreadful simpleton! I am a true wife, a model of 
faithfulness. What man is able to violate or disfigure 
me? Listen, ye guardian deities of the world! 

Earth, heaven, and death, the feeling mind. 
Sun, moon, and water, fire and wind, 
Both twilights, justice, day and night 
Discern man's conduct, wrong or right. 

So, if I am a faithful wife, may these gods make my 
nose grow again as it was before. More than that, if 
1 have had so much as a secret desire for a strange 
man, may they reduce me to ashes." 

After this explosion, she said to him directly: 
"Look, you villain! By virtue of my faithfulness my 
nose has grown as it was before." And when he took 
a torch and examined her, he found her nose as it was 
originally, and a great pool of blood on the floor. At 
this he was amazed, released her from the cords, and 
flattered her with a hundred wheedling endearments. 

Now Godly had seen the whole business. And he 
was amazed and said: 

"Learn science with the gods above 
Or imps in nether space, 


Yet women's wit will rival it: 
How keep them in their place? 

Behold the faults with woman born: 
Impurity, and heartless scorn. 
Untruth, and folly, reckless heat. 
Excessive greediness, deceit. 

Be not enslaved by women's charm, 
Nor wish them growth in power to harm: 
Their slaves, of manly feeling stripped. 
Are tame, pet crows whose wings are clipped. 

Honey in a woman's words. 

Poison in her breast: 
So, although you taste her lip, 

Drub her on the chest. 

This palace filled with vice, this field where sprouts 
Suspicion's crop, this whirling pool of doubts. 
This town of recklessness, sin's aggregate. 
This house where frauds by hundreds lie in wait. 
This basketful of riddling sham and quip 
O'er guessing which our best and bravest trip. 
This woman, this machine, this nectar-bane — 
Who set it here, to make religion vain? 

A bosom hard is praised, a forehead low, 

A fickle glance, a mumbling speech and slow. 

Thick hips, a heart that constant tremors move, 

A natural twist in hair, and twists in love. 

Their virtues are a pack of vices. Then 

Let beasts adore the fawn-eyed things, not men. 

For reasons good they laugh or weep; 
They trust you not, your trust they keep: 
These graveyard urns, oh, haunt them not! 
Keep kin and conduct free from spot. 


The lion o'er whose awful face 

Falls fierce the towsled mane. 
The elephant upon whose cheeks 

Streams ichor's glistening rain. 
The men of wit or courage who 

In books or battles gleam. 
In presence of their females, all 

Turn into cowards supreme. 

And once more: 

This gunja-fruit (oh, what was God about?) 
Is poisonous within, and sweet without." 

In these meditations the night dragged drearily 
for the holy man. Meanwhile the go-between went 
home with her nose cut off, and reflected: "What is 
to be done now? How is this great deficiency to be 

The night during which she pondered thus, her 
husband spent in the king's palace, practicing his 
trade. At dawn he came home and, being eager to 
begin his thriving business with the townspeople, he 
stopped at the door and called to her: "My dear, 
bring me my razor-case at once. The townspeople 
need my services." 

Hereupon an idea occurred to the noseless woman. 
She remained in the house, but sent him a single 
razor. And the barber, angry because the entire case 
had not been delivered, flung the razor in her direc- 
tion. This gave the wench her opportunity. Lifting 
her hands to heaven, she dashed from the house, 
screaming with all her might: "Oh, oh, oh! The 


ruffian! I was always a faithful wife. Look! He cut 
oflF my nose. Save me, save me !" 

Hereupon the police arrived, thrashed the barber 
limp, tied him fast, and took him to court with his 
wife whose nose was gone. And the judges asked him: 
"Why did you do this ghastly thing to your wife?" 
Then, his wits being so addled by astonishment that 
he could give no answer, the jurymen quoted law: 

"The guilty man is terrified 
By reason of his crime. His pride 
Is gone, his powers of speaking fail. 
His glances rove, his face is pale. 

And again: 

The sweat appears upon his brow, 
He stumbles on, he knows not how. 
His face is pale, and all he utters 
Is much distorted; for he stutters. 

The culprit always may be found 
To shake, and gaze upon the ground: 
Observe the signs as best you can 
And shrewdly pick the guilty man. 

While, on the other hand: 

The innocent is self-reliant; 
His speech is clear, his glance defiant; 
His countenance is calm and free; 
His indignation makes his plea. 

The prisoner is obviously guilty. The legal penalty 
for assaulting a woman is death. Let him be im- 

But Godly, seeing him led to the place of execu- 


tion, went to the officers of justice and said: "Gentle- 
men, you make a mistake in putting this wretched 
barber to death. His conduct has been correct. Pray 
listen to these words of mine: 

The jackal at the ram-fight; 

And we, when tricked by June; 
The meddling friend — were playing 

A self-defeating tune." 

So the officers said: "How was that, holy sir?" 
Then Godly related to them the three stories, com- 
plete in every detail. And they were all astonished as 
they listened. They set the barber free, and said: 

"Slay not a woman, Brahman, child. 
An invalid or hermit mild: 
In case of major dereliction. 
Disfigurement is the infliction. 

Now she has lost her nose through her own act. As 
additional punishment from the king, let her ears be 
cut off." When this had been done. Godly, strength- 
ening his spirit by the two examples, returned to his 
own monastery. 

"And that is why I say: 

The jackal at the ram-fight, .... 

and the rest of it." 

"Well," said Cheek, "such being the case, what 
are you and I to do?" And Victor answered: "Even 
in these circumstances, I shall have a flash of intelli- 
gence, showing me how to separate Lively from the 


king. Besides, he has fallen into serious '\dce, has our 
master Rusty. For 

Mad folly stings 
The greatest kings. 

Who then embrace a Ance; 
But servants' care 
Should check them there 

By means of learning nice." 

"Into what vice has our master Rusty fallen?" 
asked Cheek. And Victor replied: "There arc seven 
vices in the world, namely: 

Drink, women, hunting, scolding, dice. 
Greed, cruelty: these seven are vice. 

These, however, really make a single vice, called 'at- 
tachment,' with seven subdivisions." Then Cheek in- 
quired: "Is there only a single fundamental vice, or 
are there others also?" 

And Victor expounded: "There are in the world 
five situations fundamentally vicious." And when 
Cheek asked: "How are they differentiated?" Victor 
continued: "They are called: (i) deficiency, (2) cor- 
ruption, (3) attachment, (4) devastation, (5) mis- 
taken policy. 

"To begin at the beginning, the vice called 'de- 
ficiency* means the non-existence of one or another 
of these: king, counselor, people, fortress, treasure, 
punitive power, friends. 

"Secondly, when subjects, whether foreign or 
native, become restless, whether individually or en 


masscy there arises the vicious situation called 'cor- 

" 'Attachment' was explained above, in the words: 

Drink, women, hunting, .... 

and the rest of it. Here there is a love-group (drink, 
women, hunting, dice) and a wrath-group (scolding, 
and the rest). A man thwarted in the love-group be- 
comes obnoxious to the wrath-group. The love-group 
requires no elucidation. The wrath-group, however, 
threefold as already described, needs some further 
characterization. 'Scolding' is ill-considered imputa- 
tion of fault on the part of one bent on injuring an 
antagonist. 'Cruelty' means ruthless and unwar- 
ranted refinements in putting to death, imprison- 
ment, mutilation. 'Greed' is covetousness pushed to 
a merciless point. These are the seven subdivisions 
of the vice of attachment. 

"Next, there are eight kinds of devastation : by act 
of God, fire, water, disease, plague, panic, famine, 
devil-rain (which is a mere name for excessive rain). 
This disposes of the ■nee called 'devastation.' 

"Finally, there is mistaken policy. Where a man 
makes a mistaken use of the six expedients — ^peace, 
war, change of base, entrenchment, alliance, dupli- 
city — adopting war instead of peace, or peace instead 
of war, or making similar mistakes in regard to the 
other expedients, there we have the vice of mistaken 


"Now our master Rusty has fallen into the very- 
first vice, that of deficiency. For he has been so capti- 
vated by Lively that he pays not the smallest heed 
to counselor or any other of the six supports of his 
throne. He adopts rather completely a vegetarian 
morality. So what is the use of a lengthy discussion.^ 
Rusty must by all means be detached from Lively. 
No lamp, no light." 

"How will you detach him?" objected Cheek. 

"You have not the power." "My dear fellow," said 

Victor, "there is a verse to fit the situation, namely: 

In cases where brute force would fail, 
A shrewd device may still prevail: 
The crow-hen used a golden chain. 
And so the dreadful snake was slain." 

"How was that?" asked Cheek. And Victor told 


In a certain region grew a great banyan tree. In 

it lived a crow and his wife, occupying the nest which 

they had built. But a black snake crawled through 

the hollow trunk and ate their chicks as fast as they 

were born, even before baptism. Yet for all his sorrow 

over this violence, the poor crow could not desert the 

old familiar banyan and seek another tree. For 

Three cannot be induced to go — 
The deer, the cowardly man, the crow: 
Three go when insult makes them pant — 
The lion, hero, elephant. 


At last the crow-hen fell at her husband's feet 
and said: "My dear lord, a great many children of 
mine have been eaten by that awful snake. And grief 
for my loved and lost haunts me until I think of mov- 
ing. Let us make our home in some other tree. For 

No friend like health abounding; 

And like disease, no foe; 
No love like love of children; 

Like hunger-pangs, no woe. 

And again: 

With fields o'erhanging rivers. 

With wife on flirting bent. 
Or in a house with serpents. 

No man can be content. 

We are living in deadly peril." 

At this the crow was dreadfully depressed, and he 
said: "We have lived in this tree a long time, my 
dear. We cannot desert it. For 

Where water may be sipped, and grass 
Be cropped, a deer might live content; 

Yet insult will not drive him from 
The wood where all his life was spent. 

Moreover, by some shrewd device I will bring death 
upon this villainous and mighty foe." 

"But," said his wife, "this is a terribly venomous 
snake. How will you hurt him?" And he replied: 
"My dear, even if I have not the power to hurt him, 
still I have friends who possess learning, who have 


mastered the works on ethics. I will go and get from 
them some shrewd device of such nature that the 
villain — curse him! — ^will soon meet his doom." 

After this indignant speech he went at once to 
another tree, under which lived a dear friend, a 
jackal. He courteously called the jackal forth, related 
all his sorrow, then said: "My friend, what do you 
consider opportune under the circumstances? The 
killing of our children is sheer death to my wife and 

"My friend," said the jackal, "I have thought the 
matter through. You need not put yourself out. That 
villainous black snake is near his doom by reason of 
his heartless cruelty. For 

Of means to injure brutal foes 

You do not need to think. 
Since of themselves they fall, like trees 

Upon the river's brink. 

And there is a story: 

A heron ate what fish he could. 
The bad, indifferent, and good; 
His greed was never satisfied 
Till, strangled by a crab, he died." 

"How was that?" asked the crow. And the jackal 
told the story of 


There was once a heron in a certain place on the 
edge of a pond. Being old, he sought an easy way of 
catching fish on which to live. He began by lingering 


at the edge of his pond, pretending to be quite ir- 
resolute, not eating even the fish within his reach. 

Now among the fish lived a crab. He drew near 
and said: "Uncle, why do you neglect today your 
usual meals and amusements?" And the heron re- 
plied: "So long as I kept fat and flourishing by eating 
fish, I spent my time pleasantly, enjoying the taste of 
you. But a great disaster will soon befall you. And 
as I am old, this will cut short the pleasant course of 
my life. For this reason I feel depressed." 

"Uncle," said the crab, "of what nature is the 
disaster?" And the heron continued: "Today I over- 
heard the talk of a number of fishermen as they passed 
near the pond. 'This is a big pond,' they were saying, 
'full of fish. We will try a cast of the net tomorrow or 
the day after. But today we will go to the lake near 
the city.' This being so, you are lost, my food supply 
is cut off, I too am lost, and in grief at the thought, I 
am indifferent to food today." 

Now when the water-dwellers heard the trickster's 
report, they all feared for their lives and implored the 
heron, saying: "Uncle! Father! Brother! Friend! 
Thinker! Since you are informed of the cals 
also know the remedy. Pray save us 1 
this death." J^/ '^' r-" ''\ 

Then the heron said: "I am a \xB6Ep\pt competent 
to contend with men. This, howe|jEa&/|?^jBdb} 't^in 
transfer you from this pond to anU^^, a t0tB)A^4ss 
one." By this artful speech they VfwpVpo ||k^§|r9jr 


that they said: "Uncle! Friend! Unselfish kinsman! 
Take me first! Me first! Did you never hear this? 

Stout hearts delight to pay the price 
Of mercifiil self-sacrifice, 
Count life as nothing, if it end 
In gende service to a friend." 

Then the old rascal laughed in his heart, and took 
counsel with his mind, thus: "My shrewdness has 
brought these fishes into my power. They ought to be 
eaten very comfortably." Having thus thought it 
through, he promised what the thronging fish im- 
plored, lifted some in his bill, carried them a certain 
distance to a slab of stone, and ate them there. Day 
after day he made the trip with supreme delight and 
satisfaction, and meeting the fish, kept their con- 
fidence by ever new inventions. 

One day the crab, disturbed by the fear of death, 
importuned him with the words: "Uncle, pray save 
me, too, from the jaws of death." And the heron re- 
flected: "I am quite tired of this unvarying fish diet. 
I should like to taste him. He is different, and choice." 
So he picked up the crab and flew through the air. 

But since he avoided all bodies of water and 
seemed planning to alight on the sun-scorched rock, 
the crab asked him: "Uncle, where is that pond with- 
out any bottom?" And the heron laughed and said: 
"Do you see that broad, sun-scorched rock? All the 
water-dwellers have found repose there. Your turn 
has now come to find repose." 


Then the crab looked down and saw a great rock 
of sacrifice, made horrible by heaps of fish-skeletons. 
And he thought: "Ah me! 

Friends are foes and foes are friends 
As they mar or serve your ends; 
Few discern where profit tends. 

If you will, with serpents play; 
Dwell with foemen who betray: 
Shun your false and foolish friends. 
Fickle, seeking vicious ends. 

Why, he has already eaten these fish whose skeletons 
are scattered in heaps. So what might be an oppor- 
tune course of action for me? Yet why do I need to 

Man is bidden to chastise 

Even elders who devise 

Devious courses, arrogant. 

Of their duty ignorant. 

Fear fearful things, while yet 

No fearful thing appears; 
When danger must be met. 

Strike, and forget your fears. 

So, before he drops me there, I will catch his neck 
with all four claws." 

When he did so, the heron tried to escape, but 
being a fool, he found no parry to the grip of the 
crab's nippers, and had his head cut off. 

Then the crab painfully made his way back to 


the pond, dragging the heron's neck as if it had been 
a lotus-stalk. And when he came among the fish, they 
said: "Brother, why come back?" Thereupon he 
showed the head as his credentials and said: "He 
enticed the water-dwellers from every quarter, de- 
ceived them with his prevarications, dropped them 
on a slab of rock not far away, and ate them. But 
I — further life being predestined — perceived that he 
destroyed the trustful, and I have brought back his 
neck. Forget your worries. All the water-dwellers 
shall live in peace." 

"And that is why I say: 

A heron ate what fish he could, .... 

and the rest of it." 

"My friend," said the crow, "tell me how this 
^lainous snake is to meet his doom." And the jackal 
answered: "Go to some spot frequented by a great 
monarch. There seize a golden chain or a necklace 
from some wealthy man who guards jt carelessly. De- 
posit this in such a place that when it is recovered, the 
snake may be killed." 

So the crow and his wife straightway flew off at 
random, and the wife came upon a certain pond. As 
she looked about, she saw the women of a king's court 
playing in the water, and on the bank they had laid 
golden chains, pearl necklaces, garments, and gems. 
One chain of gold the crow-hen seized and started for 
the tree where she lived. 


But when the chamberlains and the eunuchs saw 
the theft, they picked up clubs and ran in pursuit. 
Meanwhile, the crow-hen dropped the golden chain 
in the snake's hole and waited at a safe distance. 

Now when the king's men climbed the tree, they 
found a hole and in it a black snake with swelling 
hood. So they killed him with their clubs, recovered 
the golden chain, and went their way. Thereafter the 
crow and his wife lived in peace. 

"And that is why I say: 

In cases where brute force would fail, .... 

and the rest of it. Furthermore: 

Some men permit a petty foe 
Through purblind heedlessness to grow. 
Till he who played a petty r61e 
Grows, like disease, beyond control. 

Indeed, there is nothing in the world that the intelli- 
gent cannot control. As the saying goes: 

Intelligence is power. But where 
Could power and folly make a pair? 
The rabbit played upon his pride 
To fool him; and the lion died." 

"How was that?" asked Cheek. And Victor told 
the story of 


In a part of a forest was a lion drunk with pride, 
and his name was Numskull. He slaughtered the 


animals without ceasing. If he saw an animal, he 
could not spare him. 

So all the natives of the forest — deer, boars, 
buffaloes, wild oxen, rabbits, and others — came to- 
gether, and with woe-begone countenances, bowed 
heads, and knees clinging to the ground, they under- 
took to beseech obsequiously the king of beasts: 
"Have done, O King, with this merciless, meaning- 
less slaughter of all creatures. It is hostile to hap- 
piness in the other world. For the Scripture says: 

A thousand future lives 

Will pass in wretchedness 
For sins a fool commits 

His present life to bless. 


What wisdom in a deed 

That brings dishonor fell, 
That causes loss of trust. 

That paves the way to hell? 

And yet again: 

The ungrateful body, frail 

And rank with filth within. 
Is such that only fools 

For its sake sink in sin. 

"Consider these facts, and cease, we pray, to 
slaughter our generations. For if the master will re- 
main at home, we will of our own motion send him 
each day for his daily food one animal of the forest. 
In this way neither the royal sustenance nor our 


families will be cut short. In this way let the king's 
duty be performed. For the proverb says: 

The king who tastes his kingdom like 

Elixir, bit by bit, 
Who does not overtax its life, 

Will fully relish it. 

The king who madly butchers men. 

Their lives as little reckoned 
As lives of goats, has one square meal. 

But never has a second. 

A king desiring profit, guards 

His world from evil chance; 
With gifts and honors waters it 

As florists water plants. 

Guard subjects like a cow, nor ask 

For milk each passing hour: 
A vine must first be sprinkled, then 

It ripens fruit and flower. 

The monarch-lamp from subjects draws 

Tax-oil to keep it bright: 
Has any ever noticed kings 

That shone by inner light? 

A seedling is a tender thing. 

And yet, if not neglected. 
It comes in time to bearing fruit: 

So subjects well protected. 

Their subjects form the only source 

From which accrue to kings 
Their gold, grain, gems, and varied drinks. 

And many other things. 


The kings who serve the common weal. 

Luxuriantly sprout; 
The common loss is kingly loss. 
Without a shade of doubt." 

After listening to this address. Numskull said: 
"Well, gentlemen, you are quite convincing. But if 
an animal does not come to me every day as I sit here, 
I promise you I will eat you all." To this they as- 
sented with much relief, and fearlessly roamed the 
wood. Each day at noon one of them appeared as his 
dinner, each species taking its turn and providing an 
individual grown old, or religious, or grief-smitten, or 
fearful of the loss of son or wife. 

One day a rabbit's turn came, it being rabbit-day. 

And when all the thronging animals had given him 

directions, he reflected: "How is it possible to kill 

this lion — curse him ! Yet after all. 

In what can wisdom not prevail? 
In what can resolution fail? 
What cannot flattery subdue? 
What cannot enterprise put through? 

I can kill even a lion." 

So he went very slowly, planning to arrive tardily, 
and meditating with troubled spirit on a means of 
killing him. Late in the day he came into the pres- 
ence of the lion, whose throat was pinched by hunger 
in consequence of the delay, and who angrily thought 
as he licked his chops: "Aha! I must kill all the ani- 
mals the first thing in the morning." 

While he was thinking, the rabbit slowly drew 


near, bowed low, and stood before him. But when the 
lion saw that he was tardy and too small at that for 
a meal, his soul flamed with wrath, and he taunted 
the rabbit, saying: "You reprobate! First, you are 
too small for a meal. Second, you are tardy. Because 
of this wickedness I am going to kill you, and tomor- 
row morning I shall extirpate every species of ani- 

Then the rabbit bowed low and said with defer- 
ence: "Master, the wickedness is not mine, nor the 
other animals'. Pray hear the cause of it." And the 
lion answered: "Well, tell it quick, before you are 
between my fangs." 

"Master," said the rabbit, "all the animals recog- 
nized today that the rabbits' turn had come, and be- 
cause I was quite small, they dispatched me with five 
other rabbits. But in mid-journey there issued from 
a great hole in the ground a lion who said: 'Where are 
you bound? Pray to your favorite god.' Then I said: 
'We are traveling as the dinner of lion Numskull, 
our master, according to agreement.* 'Is that so ?' said 
he. 'This forest belongs to me. So all the animals, 
without exception, must deal with me — according to 
agreement. This Numskull is a sneak thief. Call him 
out and bring him here at once. Then whichever of 
us proves stronger, shall be king and shall eat all 
these animals.' At his command, master, I have come 
to you. This is the cause of my tardiness. For the 
rest, my master is the sole judge." 


After listening to this. Numskull said: "Well, 
well, my good fellow, show me that sneak thief of a 
lion, and be quick about it. I cannot find peace of 
mind until I have vented on him my anger against the 
animals. He should have remembered the saying: 

Land and friends and gold at most 
Have been won when battles cease; 

If but one of these should fail. 
Do not think of breaking peace. 

Where no great reward is won. 

Where defeat is nearly sure. 
Never stir a quarrel, but 

Find it wiser to endure." 

"Quite so, master," said the rabbit. "Warriors 
fight for their country when they are insulted. But 
this fellow skulks in a fortress. You know he came 
out of a fortress when he held us up. And an enemy 
in a fortress is hard to handle. As the saying goes: 

A single royal fortress adds 

More military force 
Than do a thousand elephants, 

A hundred thousand horse. 

A single archer from a wall 

A hundred foes forfends; 
And so the military art 

A fortress recommends. 

God Indra used the wit and skill 

Of gods in days of old. 
When Devil Gold-mat plagued the world. 

To build a fortress-hold. 


And he decreed that any king 

Who built a fortress sound, 
Should conquer foemen. This is why 

Such fortresses abound." 

When he heard this, Numskull said: "My good 
fellow, show me that thief. Even if he is hiding in a 
fortress, I will kill him. For the proverb says: 

The strongest man who fails to crush 

At birth, disease or foe. 
Will later be destroyed by that 

Which he permits to grow. 

And again: 

The man who reckons well his power, 

Nor pride nor vigor lacks, 
May single-handed smite his foes 

Like Rama-with-the-axe." 

"Very true," said the rabbit. "But after all it was 
a mighty lion that I saw. So the master should not 
set out without realizing the enemy's capacity. As the 
saying runs: 

A warrior failing to compare 

Two hosts, in mad desire 
For battle, plunges like a moth 

Headforemost into fire. 

And again: 

The weak who challenge mighty foes 

A battle to abide. 
Like elephants with broken tusks. 

Return with drooping pride." 

ButNumskull said: "What business is itof yours? 
Show him to me, even in his fortress." "Very well," 


ssud the rabbit. "Follow me, master." And he 
led the way to a well, where he said to the lion: 
"Master, who can endure your majesty? The moment 
he saw you, that thief crawled clear into his hole. 
Come, I will show him to you." "Be quick about it, 
my good fellow," said Numskull. 

So the rabbit showed him the well. And the lion, 
being a dreadful fool, saw his own reflection in the 
water, and gave voice to a great roar. Then from the 
well issued a roar twice as loud, because of the echo. 
This the lion heard, decided that his rival was very 
powerful, hurled himself down, and met his death. 
Thereupon the rabbit cheerfully carried the glad news 
to all the animals, received their compliments, and 
lived there contentedly in the forest. 

"And that is why I say: 

Intelligence is power, .... 

and the rest of it." 

"But," said Cheek, "that is like a palm-fruit 
falling on a crow's head — a quite exceptional case. 
Even if the rabbit was successful, still a man of feeble 
powers should not deal fraudulently with the great." 
And Victor retorted: "Feeble or strong, one must 
make up his mind to \ngorous action. You know the 

Unceasing effort brings success; 

'Fate, fate is all,' let dastards wail: 
Smite fate and prove yourself a man; 

What fault if bold endeavor fail? 


Furthermore, the very gods befriend those who ever 
strive. As the story goes: 

The gods befriend a man who climbs 

Determination's height: 
So Vishnu, discus, bird sustained 

The weaver in the fight. 

And further: 

Not even Brahma sees the end 

Of well-devised deceit: 
The weaver, taking Vishnu's form. 

Embraced the princess sweet." 

"How was that.?" asked Cheek. "Are undertak- 
ings successful even through deceit, resolutely and 
well devised?" And Victor told the story of 


In the Molasses Belt is a city called Sugarcane 
City. In it lived two friends, a weaver and a carpen- 
ter. Since they were past masters in their respective 
crafts, they had earned enough money by their labors 
so that they kept no account of receipt and expendi- 
ture. They wore soft, gaily colored, expensive gar- 
ments, adorned themselves with flowers and betel- 
leaves, and diffused odors of camphor, aloes, and 
musk. They worked nine hours a day, after which 
they adorned their persons and met for recreation in 
such places as public squares or temples. They made 
the rounds of the spots where society gathered — 
theaters, conversaziones ^ birthday parties, banquets. 


and the like — then went home at twilight. And so the 
time passed. 

One day there was a great festival, an occasion 
when the entire population, wearing the finest orna- 
ments that each could afford, began sauntering 
through the temples of the gods and other public 
places. The weaver and the carpenter, like the rest, 
put on their best things, and in squares and court- 
yards inspected the faces of people dressed to kill. 
And they caught a glimpse of a princess seated at the 
window of a stucco palace. The vicinity of her heart 
was made lovely by a firm bosom with the curve of 
early youth. Below the slender waist was the grace- 
ful swell pf the hips. Her hair was black as a rain- 
cloud, soft, glossy, with a billowy curl. A golden ear- 
ring danced below an ear that seemed a hammock 
where Love might swing. Her face had the charm of 
a new-blown, tender water-lily. Like a dream she 
took captive the eyes of all, as she sat surrounded 
by girl friends. 

And the weaver, ravished by lavish loveliness, 
since the love-god with five fierce arrows pierced his 
heart, concealed his feelings by a supreme effort of 
resolution, and tottered home, seeing nothing but the 
princess in the whole horizon. With long-drawn, 
burning sighs he tumbled on the bed (though it had 
not been made up), and there he lay. He perceived, 
he thought of nothing but her, just as he had seen 
her, and there he lay, reciting poetry: 


Virtues with beauty dwell: 

So poets sing, 
This contradiction not 

That she, so cruel-sweet. 

Far, far apart. 
Tortures my body still. 

Still in my heart. 

Or does this explain it? 

One heart my darling took; 

One pines as if to die; 
One throbs with feeling pure: 

How many hearts have I ? 

And yet 

If all the world from virtue draws 

A blessing and a gain, 
Why should all virtue in my maid. 

My fawn-eyed maiden, pain? 

Each guards his home, they say; 
Yet in my heart you stay. 
Burning your home alway, 
Sweet, heartless one! 

That these — her bosom's youthful pride. 
Her curling hair, her sinuous side. 
Her blood-red lip, her waist so small — 
Should hurt me, is not strange at all: 
But that her cheeks so clear, so bright. 
Should torture me, is far from right. 

Her bosom, like an elephant's brow. 
Swells, saffron-scented. How, ah, how 


May I thereon my bosom lay. 
When weary love is tired of play. 
So, fettered in her arms, to keep 
A vigil waking half, half sleep i 

If fate has willed 
That I should die. 

Are there no means 
Save that soft eye? 

You see my love, though far apart. 
Before you ever, O my heart! 
Should vision cease to satisfy. 
Oh, teach your magic to my eye: 
For even her presence will distress. 
If bought by too great loneliness. 
Since none — the merciful are blest — 
Of selfishness may stand confessed. 

She stole his luster from the moon — 

The moon is dull and cold; 
The lily's sheen is in her eyes — 

No charge of theft will hold; 
The elephant's majesty she seized— 

Naught knows he of her art; 
From me the slender maiden took. 

Ah, strange! a feeling heart. 

In middle air I see my love. 
On earth below, in heaven above; 
In life's last hour, on her I call: 
She is, like Vishnu, all-in-all. 

All mental states, the Buddha said. 
Are transient; he was wrong: 

My meditations on my love 
Are infinitely long. 


In such lamentation, his thoughts tossing to and 
fro, the night dragged drearily away. On the next day 
at the customary hour, the carpenter, wearing an ele- 
gant costume, came as usual to the weaver's house. 
There he found the weaver with arms and legs 
sprawled over the unmade bed, heard his long-drawn, 
burning sighs, and noticed his pallid cheeks and trick- 
ling tears. Finding him in this condition, he said: "My 
friend, my friend, why are you in such a state today?" 
But the poor weaver, though questioned repeatedly, 
was too embarrassed to say a word. At last the car- 
penter grew weary and dropped into poetry: 

No friend is he whose anger 
Compels a timid languor, 

Nor he whom all must anxiously attend; 
But when you trust another 
As if he were your mother. 

He is no mere acquaintance, but a friend. 

Then, after examining the weaver's heart and other 
members with a hand skilled in detecting symptoms, 
he said: "Comrade, if my diagnosis is correct, your 
condition is not the result of fever, but of love." 

Now when his friend voluntarily introduced the 
subject, the weaver sat up in bed and recited a stanza 
of poetry: 

You find repose in sore disaster 
By telling things to dear-eyed master. 
To virtuous servant, gende friend. 
Or wife who loves you to the end. 


Then he related his whole experience from the 
moment he laid eyes on the princess. And the car- 
penter, after some reflection, said: "The king belongs 
to the warrior caste, while you are a business man. 
Have you no reverence for the holy law?" 

But the weaver replied: "The holy law allows a 
warrior three wives. The girl may be the daughter of 
a woman of my caste. That may explain my love for 
her. What says the king in the play? 

Surely, she may become a warrior's bride; 

Else, why these longings in an honest mind? 
The motions of a blameless heart decide 

Of right and wrong, when reason leaves us blind." 

Thereupon the carpenter, perceiving his deter- 
mined purpose, said: "Comrade, what is to be done 
next?" And the weaver answered: "I don't know. I 
told you because you are my friend." And to this he 
would not add a word. 

At last the carpenter said: "Rise, bathe, eat. Say 
farewell to despondency. I will invent something such 
that you will enjoy with her the delights of love with- 
out loss of time." 

Then the weaver, hope reviving at his friend's 
promise, rose and returned to seemly living. And the 
next day the carpenter came bringing a brand-new 
mechanical bird, like Garuda, the bird of Vishnu. It 
was made of wood, was gaily painted in many colors, 
and had an ingenious arrangement of plugs. 

"Comrade," he said to the weaver, "when you 


mount the bird and insert a plug, it goes wherever you. 
wish. And the contrivance alights at the spot where 
you pull out the plug. It is yours. This very night, 
when people are asleep, adorn your person, disguise 
yourself as Vishnu — my wit and skill are at your serv- 
ice — amount this Garuda bird, alight on the maidens' 
balcony of the palace, and make whatever arrange- 
ments you like with the princess. I have ascertained 
that the princess sleeps alone on the palace balcony." 

When the carpenter had gone, the weaver spent 
the rest of the day in a hundred fond imaginings. He 
took a bath, used incense, powders, ointments, betel, 
scents for the breath, flowers, and so forth. He put on 
gay garlands and garments, rich in fragrance. He 
adorned himself with a diadem and other jewelry. 
And when the night came clear, he followed the 
carpenter's instructions. 

Meanwhile, the princess lay in her bed alone on 
the palace balcony bathed in moonbeams. She gazed 
at the moon, her mind idly dallying with the thought 
of love. All at once she spied the weaver, disguised 
as Vishnu and mounted on his heavenly bird. At 
sight of him she started from her bed, adored his feet, 
and humbly said: "O Lord, to what end am I honored 
by this visit? Pray command me. What am I to do ?" 

To the princess' words the weaver, in dignified and 
sweetly modulated accents, made stately answer: 
"Yourself, dear maiden, are the occasion of this visit 
to earth." "But I am merely a mortal girl," said she. 


And he continued: "Nay, you have been my bride, 
now fallen to earth by reason of a curse. It is I who 
have so long protected you from contact with a man. 
I will now wed you by the ceremony used in heaven." 
And she assented, for she thought: "It is a thing 
beyond my fondest aspirations." And he married her 
by the ceremony used in heaven. 

So day followed day in the enjoyment of love's 
delights, each day witnessing a growth in passion. 
Before dawn the weaver would mount his mechan- 
ical Garuda, would bid her farewell with the words: 
"I depart for Vishnu's heaven," and would always 
reach his house undetected. 

One day the guards at the women's quarters ob- 
served indications that the princess was meeting a 
man, and in fear of their very lives made a report to 
their master. "O King," they said, "be gracious and 
confirm our personal security. There is a disclosure 
to be made." And when the king assented, the guards 
reported: "O King, we have used anxious care to 
forbid the entrance of men. Yet indications are ob- 
served that Princess Lovely has meetings with a man. 
Not unto us does it fall to take measures. The king, 
the king alone is prime mover." 

Upon this information the king pondered with 
troubled spirit: 

You are worried when you hear that she is born; 

Picking husbands makes you anxious and forlorn; 

When she marries, will her husband be a churl? 

It is tough to be the father of a girl. 



At her birth she steals away her mother's heart; 
Loving friends, when she is older, fall apart; 
Even married, she is apt to bring a stain: 
Having daughters is a business full of pain. 


When a poem or daughter comes out. 
The author is troubled with doubt. 

With a doubt that his questions betray; 
Will she reach the right hands? 
Will she please as she stands? 

And what will the critics say? 

Having thus considered the matter from every 
point of view, he sought the queen and said: "My 
dear queen, pray give careful attention to what these 
chamberlains have to say. Who is this offender whom 
the death-god seeks today?" 

Now when they had related the facts, the queen 
hastened in great perturbation to the maiden's apart- 
ments and found her daughter with lips sore from 
kissing and with telltale traces on her limbs. And 
she cried: "You wicked girl! You are a disgrace to 
the family! How could you throw your character 
away? Who is the man that comes to you? The 
death-god has looked upon him. Dreadful as things 
are, at least tell the truth." Then the princess, with 
shamefaced, drooping glances, recounted the whole 
story of the weaver disguised as Vishnu. 

Thereupon the queen, with laughing countenance 
and thrilling in every limb, hastened to the king and 


said: "O King, you are indeed fortunate. It is blessdd 
Vishnu who comes each night in person to our 
daughter's side. He has married her by the ceremony 
used in heaven. This very night you and I are to hide 
in the window niche and have sight of him. But with 
mortals he does not exchange words." 

On hearing this, the king was glad at heart, and 
somehow lived through the day, which seemed a 
hundred years. When night came, the king and queen 
stood hidden in the window niche and waited, their 
gaze fixed on the sky. Presently the king descried one 
descending from heaven, mounted on Garuda, grasp- 
ing the conch-shell, discus, mace, marked with the 
familiar symbols. And feeling as if drenched by a 
shower of nectar, he said to the queen : "There is none 
other on earth so blest as you and I, whose child 
blessed Vishnu seeks with love. All the desires nearest 
our hearts are granted. Now, through the power of 
our son-in-law, I shall reduce the whole world to sub- 

At this juncture envoys arrived to collect the year- 
ly tribute for King Valor, monarch of the south, lord 
of nine million, nine hundred thousand villages. But 
the king, proud of his new relationship with Vishnu, 
did not show them the customary honor, so that they 
grew indignant and said: "Come, King! Pay-day is 
past. Why have you failed to offer the taxes due? It 
must be that you have recently come into possession 
of some unanticipated^ supernatural power from some 


source or other, that you irritate King Valor, who is 
a flame, a whirlwind, a venomous serpent, a death- 
god." Upon this the king showed them his bare bot- 
tom. And they returned to their own country, exag- 
gerated the matter a hundred thousand fold, and 
stirred the wrath of their master. 

Then the southern monarch, with his troops and 
retainers, at the head of an army with all four service 
branches, marched against the king. And he angrily 

This king may climb the heavenly mount. 

May plunge beneath the sea; 
And yet — I promise it — the wretch 
Shall soon be slain by me. 

So Valor reached the country by marches never 
interrupted, and ravaged it. And the inhabitants who 
survived the slaughter besieged the palace gate of the 
king of Sugarcane City, and taunted him. But what 
he heard did not cause the king the slightest anxiety. 

On the following day the forces of King Valor ar- 
rived and invested Sugarcane City, whereupon hosts 
of counselors and chaplains interceded with the king: 
"O King," they said, "a powerful enemy has arrived 
and invested the city. How can the king show him- 
self so unconcerned?" And the king replied: "You 
gentlemen may be quite comfortable. I have devised 
a means of killing this foe. What I am about to do to 
his army, you, too, will learn tomorrow morning." 
After this address, he bade them provide adequate 
defense for the walls and gates. 


Then he summoned Lovely and with respectful 
coaxing said: "Dear child, relying on your husband's 
power, we have begun hostilities with the enemy. 
This very night pray speak to blessed Vishnu when he 
comes, so that in the morning he may kill this enemy 
of ours." 

So Lovely delivered to him at night her father's 
message, complete in every particular. On hearing it, 
the weaver laughed and said: "Dear love, how little a 
business is this, a mere war with men! Why, in days 
gone by I have with the greatest ease slain mighty 
demons by the thousand, and they were armed with 
magic; there was Hiranyakashipu, and Kansa, and 
Madhu, and Kaitabha, to name but a few. Go, then, 
and say to the king: 'Dismiss anxiety. In the morn- 
ing Vishnu will slay the host of your enemies with his 
discus.' " 

So she went to the king and proudly told him all. 
Whereat he was overjoyed and commanded the door- 
keeper to have proclamation made with beat of drum 
throughout the city, in these words: "Whatever any 
shall lay hands on during tomorrow's battle in the 
camp of Valor slain, whether coined money or grain 
or gold or elephant or horse or weapon or other object, 
that shall remain his personal possession." This proc- 
lamation delighted the citizens, so that they gossiped 
together, saying: "This king of ours is a lofty soul, 
unalarmed even in the presence of the hostile host. 
He is certain to kill his rival in the morning." 


Meanwhile the weaver, forgetting love's allure- 
ments, took counsel with his brooding mind: "What 
am I to do now? Suppose I mount the machine and 
fly away, then I shall never meet my pearl, my wife, 
again. King Valor will drag her from the palace after 
killing my poor father-in-law. Yet if I accept battle, 
I shall meet death, who puts an end to every heart's 
desire. But death is mine if I lose her. Why spin it 
out? Death, sure death, in either case. It is better, 
then, to die game. Besides, it is just possible that the 
enemy, if they see me accepting battle and mounted 
on Garuda, will think me the genuine Vishnu and will 
flee. For the proverb says: 

Let resolution guide the great. 
However desperate his state. 
However grim his hostile fate: 

By resolution lifted high. 
With shrewd decision as ally. 
He grimly sees grim trouble fly." 

When the weaver had thus resolved on battle, the 
genuine Garuda made respectful representations to 
the genuine Vishnu in heaven. "O Lord," he said, "in 
a city on earth called Sugarcane is a weaver who, dis- 
guising himself as my Lord, has wedded a princess. 
As a result, a more powerful monarch of the south has 
marched to extirpate the king of Sugarcane City. 
Now the weaver today takes his resolution to befriend 
his father-in-law. This, then, is what I must refer to 
your decision. If he meets death in battle, then scan- 


dal will arise in the mortal world to the effect that 
blessed Vishnu has been killed by the king of the 
south. Thereafter sacrificial offerings will fail, and 
other religious ceremonies. Then atheists will destroy 
the temples of the Lord, while pilgrims of the triple 
staff, devotees of blessed Vishnu, will abstain from 
pious journeyings. Such being the condi tion of affairs, 
decision rests with my Lord." 

Then blessed Vishnu, after exhaustive meditation, 
spoke to Garuda: "O King of the winged, your 
reasoning is just. This weaver has a spark of divinity 
in him. Therefore he must be the slayer of yonder 
king. And to bring this about, you and I must be- 
friend him. My spirit shall enter his body, you are to 
inspire his bird, and my discus, his discus." "So be 
it," said Garuda, assenting. 

Hereupon the weaver, inspired by Vishnu, gave 
instructions to Lovely: "Dear love, when I set out 
for battle, let all things be made ready that bring a 
benediction." He then performed auspicious cere- 
monies, assumed ornaments seemly for battle, and 
permitted worshipful offerings of yellow pigment, 
black mustard, flowers, and the like. But when the 
friend of day-blooming water-lilies, the blessed, 
thousand-beamed sun arose, adorning the bridal brow 
of the eastern sky, then to the victorious roll of the 
war-drums, the king issued from the city and drew 
near the field of battle, then both armies formed in 
exact array, then the infantry came to blows. At this 


moment the weaver, mounted on Garuda, and scat- 
tering largess of gold and precious gems, flew from the 
palace roof toward heaven's vault, while the towns- 
people, thrilling with wonder, gazed and adored, then 
beyond the city he hovered above his army, and drew 
from Vishnu's conch a proud, grand burst of martial 

At the blare of the conch, elephants, horses, 
chariots, foot-soldiers, were dismayed and many gar- 
ments were fouled. Some with shrill screams fled afar. 
Some rolled on the ground, all purposive movement 
paralyzed. Some stood stock still, with terrified gaze 
fixed unwavering on heaven. 

At this point all the gods were drawn to the 
spot by curiosity to see the fight, and Indra said to 
Brahma: "Brahma, is this some imp or demon who 
must needs be slain ? For blessed Vishnu, mounted on 
Garuda, has gone forth to battle in person." At these 
words Brahma pondered: 

"Lord Vishnu's discus drinks in flood 
The hostile demons' gushing blood, 

And strikes no mortal flat: 
The jungle lion who can draw 
The tusker's life with awful paw. 
Disdains to crush a gnat. 

What means this marvel ?" Thus Brahma himself was 
astonished. That is why I told you: 

Not even Brahma sees the end 

Of well-devised deceit: 
The weaver, taking Vishnu's form. 
Embraced the princess sweet. 


While the very gods were thus pondering with 
tense interest, the weaver hurled his discus at Valor. 
This discus, after cutting the king in twain, returned 
to his hand. At the sight, all the kings without ex- 
ception leaped from their vehicles, and with hands, 
feet, and head drooping in limp obeisance, they im- 
plored him who bore the form of Vishnu: "O Lord, 
An army, leaderless, is slain. 

Be mindful of this and spare our lives. Command us. 
What are we to do?" 

So spoke the whole throng of kings, until he made 
answer who bore the form of Vishnu: "Your persons 
are secure henceforth. Whatever commands you re- 
ceive from the local king, King Stout-Mail, you must 
on all occasions unhesitatingly perform." And all the 
kings humbly received his instructions, saying: "Let 
it be as our Lord commands." 

Thereupon the weaver bestowed on Stout-Mail 
all his rival's wealth, whether men or elephants or 
chariots or horses or stores of merchandise or other 
riches, while he himself, having attained the special 
majesty of those victorious, enjoyed all known de- 
lights with the princess. 

"And that is why I say: 

The gods befriend a man who climbs 
Determination's height, .... 

and the rest of it." 


Having listened to this, Cheek said: "If you, too, 
are thus climbing determination's height, then pro- 
ceed to the accomplishment of your desire. Blest be 
your journeyings." 

Thereupon Victor sought the presence of the lion, 
who said, when Victor had bowed and seated himself: 
"Why has so long a time passed since you were last 
visible?" And Victor answered: "O King, ui^ent 
business awaits my master today. Hence I am come, 
the bearer of tidings unwelcome but wholesome. This 
is not, indeed, the desire of dependents, who yet bring 
such tidings when they fear the neglect of immediate 
and necessary action. As the proverb says: 

When those appointed to advise 

Speak wholesome truth, they cause surprise 

By this remarkable excess 

Of passionate devotedness. 

And again: 

A man is quickly found, O King, 
To say the sycophantic thing; 
But one prepared to hear or speak 
Unwelcome truth, is far to seek." 

Hereupon Rusty, believing his words worthy of 
trust, respectfully asked him: "What do you wish to 
imply?" And Victor answered: "O King, Lively has 
crept into your confidence with treasonable purpose. 
On several occasions he has confidentially whispered 
in my hearing: 'I have examined the strong points 
and the weak in your master's power — in his prestige. 


his advisers, and his material resources. I plan to kill 
him and to seize the royal power myself without diffi- 
culty.' This very day this Lively person intends to 
carry out his design. That is why I am here to warn 
the master whose service is mine by inheritance." 

To Rusty this report was more terrible than the 
fall of a thunderbolt. He sank into a panic-stricken 
stupor and said not a word. Then Victor, compre- 
hending his state of mind, continued: "This is the 
great sadness in the discharge of a counselor's duty. 
There is wisdom in the saying: 

When a counselor or king 

Rises higher than he should. 
Fortune strives in vain to make 

Still her double footing good; 
Being woman, feels the strain; 
Soon abandons one of twain. 

For, indeed, 

With broken sliver, loosened tooth, 
Or counselor who fails in truth. 
Pull roots and all; so only, grief 
Will find its permanent relief. 

And again: 

No king should ever delegate 
To one sole man the powers of state: 
For folly seizes him, then pride. 
Whereat he grows dissatisfied 
With service; thus impatient grown. 
He longs to rule the realm alone; 
And such impatient longings bring 
Him into plots to kill his king. 


Even now, this Lively manages all business as he 
will, without restraint of any kind. Hence the well- 
known saying finds application: 

A counselor who tramples through 
His business, though his heart be true. 
May not unheeded go his way. 
Since future days the present pay. 

But such is the nature of kings. As the poet sings: 

Some gentle actions born of love 
To thoughts of active hatred move; 
Some deeds of traitorous offense 
Win guerdon of benevolence; 
The kingly mind can no man tame. 
As never being twice the same: 
Such service makes the spirit faint, 
A hard conundrum for a saint." 

On hearing this. Rusty said: "After all, he is my 

servant. Why should he experience a change of heart 

toward me?" But Victor answered: "Servant or not, 

there is nothing conclusive in that. For the proverb 


The man who loves not royalty. 

Just serving while he can 
Find nothing better worth his pains. 
Is not a loyal man." 

"My dear fellow," said the lion, "even so, I can- 
not find it in my heart to turn against him. For 

However false and fickle grown. 

Once dear is always dear: 
Who does not love his body, though 

Decrepit, blemished, queer? 


And again: 

His actions may be hard to bear. 

His speech be harsh to hear; 
The heart still clings delighted to 

A person truly dear." 

"For that very reason," retorted Victor, "there is 
a serious flaw in the business of getting on in the 
world. Observe how this person, upon whom the 
master has concentrated his consideration to the ex- 
clusion of the whole company of animals, now desires 
to become himself the master. As the verse puts it: 

The man of birth or man unknown. 

If kingly eyes on him alone 

Are fixed, aspires to seize the throne. 

Therefore, dear though he be, he should be aban- 
doned, being a traitor, like one who has never been 
dear. There is much wisdom in the saying: 

Pursue your aim, abandoning 

The fools inclined to sin. 
The comrades, brothers, friends, or sons. 

Or honorable kin: 
You know the song the women sing. 

We hear it far and near — 
What good are golden earrings, if 

They lacerate your ear? 

"And if you fancy that he will bring benefit be- 
cause he is bulky of body, you make a perverse mis- 
take. For 

How use a proud bull-elephant 
That will not serve the king? 
A man is better, fat or lean, 
Who does the helpful thing. 


"Again, any pity that our lord and king might fed 
toward him, is quite out of place. For 

Whoever leaves the righteous path 

For some unrighteous course. 
Will meet calamity in time 

And suffer much remorse. 

Whoever will not take from friends 

Most excellent advice, 
Will gladden foes, and falling soon, 

Will pay his folly's price. 

And again: 

On wicked trick intently bent. 
The wilful still lack ear to hear 

(So blind their mind) of nice and vice 
The cause in saws appearing clear. 


Where one will speak and one will heed 

What in the end is well, 
Although unpleasant at the time. 

There riches love to dwell. 

And again: 

No king's retainer should devise 
A fraud, for spies are kingly eyes: 
Then bear with harsh as kind, O King; 
The truth is seldom flattering. 

Tried servants never should be left. 

And strangers taken; 
A kingdom's health by no disease 

Is sooner shaken." 


"My good fellow," said the lion, "pray do not say 
such things. For 

Never publicly defame 
Any once commended name: 
Broken promises are shame. 

"Now I formerly gave him a safe-conduct, since 
he appeared as a suppliant. How then can he prove 
ungrateful?" But Victor rejoined: 

"No rogue asks reason for his wrath; 
Nor saint, to tread in kindness' path: 
By nature's power, the sweet or sour 
In sugar dwells or nim-tree's flower. 

And again: 

Caress a rascal as you will. 

He was and is a rascal still: 

All salve- and sweating-treatments fail 

To take the kink from doggy's tail. 

And once again: 

Slight kindness shown to lofty souls 

A strange enlargement seeks: 
The moonbeams gleam with whiter light 

On Himalaya's peaks. 

While, on the other hand: 

The kindness shown to vicious souls 

Strange diminution seeks: 
The gleam of moonbeams is absorbed 

On Sooty Mountain's peaks. 

A hundred benefits are lost. 

If lavished on the mean; 
A hundred epigrams, with their 

True relevance unseen; 


A hundred counsels, when a life 

Obeys no rigid rule; 
A hundred cogent arguments 

Are lost upon a fool. 

Lost is every gift that goes 

Where it does not fit; 
Lost is service lavished on 

Sluggish mind and wit; 
Lost upon ingratitude 

Is the kindest plan; 
Lost is courtesy on one 

Not a gentleman. 

Or put it this way: 

Perfume offered to a corpse, 

Lotus-planting dry, 
Weeping in the wood, prolonged 

Rain on alkali, 
Taking kinks from doggy's tail. 

Drawl in deafened ear, 
Decking faces of the blind. 

Sense for fools to hear. 

Or this way: 

Milk a bull, and think him some 

Heavy-uddered cow; 
Blind to lovely maidens, clasp 

Eunuchs anyhow; 
Seek in shining scraps of quartz 

Lapis lazuli : 
Do not serve an addlepate, 

Bidding sense goodbye. 

"Ergo, the master must by no means fail to heed 
my sound advice. And one thing more: 


What tiger, monkey, snake advised, 

I did not do; and so 
That dreadfully ungrateful man 

Has brought me very low." 

"How was that?" asked Rusty. And Victor told 
the story of 


In a certain town lived a Brahman whose name 
was Sacrifice. Every day his wife, chafing under their 
poverty, would say to him: "Come, Brahman 1 Lazy- 
bones! Stony-Heart! Don't you see your babies 
starving, while you hang about, mooning? Go some- 
where, no matter where, find some way, any way, to 
get food, and come back in a hurry." 

At last the Brahman, weary of this refrain, under- 
took a long journey, and in a few days entered a great 
forest. While wandering hungry in this forest, he be- 
gan to hunt for water. And in a certain spot he came 
upon a well, overgrown with grass. When he looked 
in, he discovered a tiger, a monkey, a snake, and a 
man at the bottom. They also saw him. 

Then the tiger thought: "Here comes a man," and 
he cried: "O noble soul, there is great virtue in sav- 
ing life. Think of that, and pull me out, so that I may 
live in the company of beloved friends, wife, sons, and 

"Why," said the Brahman, "the very sound of 
your name brings a shiver to every living thing. I 
cannot deny that I fear you." But the tiger resumed: 


"To Brahman-slayer, impotent. 
To drunkard, him on treason bent. 
To sinner through prevarication. 
The holy grant an expiation: 
While for ingratitude alone 
No expiation will atone." 

And he continued: "I bind myself by a triple oath 
that no danger threatens you from me. Have pity 
and pull me out." Then the Brahman thought it 
through to this conclusion: "If disaster befalls in the 
saving of life, it is a disaster that spells salvation." 
So he pulled the tiger out. 

Next the monkey said: "Holy sir, pull me out 
too." And the Brahman pulled him out too. Then 
the snake said: "Brahman, pull me out too." But 
the Brahman answered: "One shudders at the mere 
sound of your name, how much more at touching 
you!" "But," said the snake, "we are not free agents. 
We bite only under orders. I bind myself by a triple 
oath that you need have no fear of me." After listen- 
ing to this, the Brahman pulled him out too. Then 
the animals said: "The man down there is a shrine 
of every sin. Beware. Do not pull him out. Do not 
trust him." 

Furthermore, the tiger said: "Do you see this 
mountain with many peaks? My cave is in a wooded 
ravine on the north slope. You must do me the favor 
of paying me a visit there some day, so that I may 
make return for your kindness. I should not like to 


drag the debt into the next life." With these words 
he started for his cave. 

Then the monkey said: "My home is quite near 
the cave, beside the waterfall. Please pay me a visit 
there." With this he departed. 

Then the snake said: "In any emergency, re- 
member me." And he went his way. 

Then the man in the well shouted time and again: 
"Brahman! Pull me out too!" At last the Brahman's 
pity was awakened, and he pulled him out, thinking: 
"He is a man, like me." And the man said: "I am a 
goldsmith, and live in Baroch. If you have any gold 
to be worked into shape, you must bring it to me." 
With this he started for home. 

Then the Brahman continued his wanderings but 
found nothing whatever. As he started for home, he 
recalled the monkey's invitation. So he paid a visit, 
found the monkey at home, and received fruits sweet 
as nectar, which put new life into him. Furthermore, 
the monkey said: "If you ever have use for fruit, pray 
come here at any time." "You have done a friend's 
full duty," said the Brahman. "But please introduce 
me to the tiger." So the monkey led the way and in- 
troduced him to the tiger. 

Now the tiger recognized him and, by way of re- 
turning his kindness, bestowed on him a necklace and 
other ornaments of wrought gold, saying: "A certain 
prince whose horse ran away with him came here 
alone, and when he was within range of a spring, I 


killed him. All this I took from his person and stored 
carefully for you. Pray accept it and go where you 

So the Brahman took it, then recalled the gold- 
smith and visited him, thinking: "He will do me the 
favor of getting it sold." Now the goldsmith wel- 
comed him with respectful hospitality, oflFering water 
for the feet, an honorable gift, a seat, hard food and 
soft, drink, and other things, then said: "Command 
me, sir. What may I do for you?" And the Brahman 
said: "I have brought you gold. Please sell it." 
"Show me the gold," said the goldsmith, and the 
other did so. 

Now the goldsmith thought when he saw it: "I 
worked this gold for the prince." And having made 
sure of the fact, he said: "Please stay right here, while 
I show it to somebody." With this he went to court 
and showed it to the king. On seeing it, the king 
asked: "Where did you get this?" And the goldsmith 
replied: "In my house is a Brahman. He brought it." 

Thereupon the king reflected: "Without ques- 
tion, that villain killed my son. I will show him what 
that costs." And he issued orders to the police: 
"Have this Brahman scum fettered, and impale him 
tomorrow morning." 

When the Brahman was fettered, he remembered 
the snake, who appeared at once and said : "What can 
I do to serve you ?" "Free me from these fetters," said 
the Brahman. And the snake replied: "I will bite the 


king's dear queen. Then, in spite of the charms em- 
ployed by any great conjurer and the antidotes of 
other physicians, I will keep her poisoned. Only by 
the touch of your hand will the poison be neutralized. 
Then you will go free." 

Having made this promise, the snake bit the 
queen, whereupon shouts of despair arose in the 
palace, and the entire city was filled with dismay. 
Then they summoned dealers in antidotes, conjurers, 
scientists, druggists, and foreigners, all of whom treat- 
ed the case with such resources as they had, but none 
could neutralize the poison. Finally, a proclamation 
was made with beat of drum, upon hearing which the 
Brahman said: "I will cure her." The moment he 
spoke, they freed him from his fetters, took him to 
the king, and introduced him. And the king said: 
"Cure her, sir." So he went to the queen and cured 
her by the mere touch of his hand. 

When the king saw her restored to life, he paid the 
Brahman honor and reverence, then respectfully 
asked him : "Reveal the truth, sir. How did you come 
by this gold?" And the Brahman began at the begin- 
ning and related the whole adventure accurately. As 
soon as the king comprehended the facts, he arrested 
the goldsmith, while he gave the Brahman a thousand 
villages and appointed him privy counselor. But the 
Brahman summoned his family, was surrounded by 
friends and relatives, took delight in eating and other 
natural functions, acquired massive merit by the 


performance of numerous sacrifices, concentrated au- 
thority by heedful attention to all phases of royal 
duty, and lived happily. 

"And that is why I say: 

What tiger, monkey, snake advised, .... 

and the rest of it." And Victor continued: 

"Friend or kinsman, teacher, king. 
Must be kept from trespassing: 
If they cling to evil still, 
They will bend you to their will. 

"O King, he is obviously a traitor. However, 

Tirelessly benevolent. 
Save a friend on evil bent: 
This is sainthood's perfect song; 
Every substitute is wrong. 

Again : 

Who saves from vice is truly kind; 
True wife is she who shares your mind; 
True acts are free from every blame; 
True joy, from avarice's shame; 
True wisdom wins the praise of saints; 
True friends involve in no restraints; 
True glory knows no haughtiness; 
True men are cheerfvil in distress. 

And again: 

Rest your sleeping head in fire; 

Pillow it with snakes: 
Do not smile at worthy friends 


"Now my lord and king associates with Lively, 
making a vicious mistake that results in the neglect 
of the three things worth living for — virtue, money, 
and love. And in spite of my protestations, urged 
from various points of view, my lord and king goes 
his wilful way, unheeding. In the future, therefore, 
when the crash comes, do not blame your servant. 
You have heard the saying: 

No thought of profit or of right 

Can headstrong monarchs stay, 
Who, like bull-elephants amuck. 

Pursue their reckless way; 
When, puffed with pride, they come to grief 

In thickets of distress. 
They blame their servants, and forget 

Their proper naughdness." 

"Such being the case, my good fellow," said the 
lion, "should I warn him?" "What! Warn him?" 
said Victor. "What kind of policy would that be ? For 

He stings or strikes in hasty fear 
When warning has been heard: 

Tis wise to warn an enemy 
By action, not by word." 

"After all," said Rusty, "he is a grass-nibbler. I 
am a carnivore. How can he hurt me?" "Precisely," 
said Victor. "He is a grass-nibbler. My lord and king 
is a carnivore. He is food. My lord and king devours 
food. In spite of all, if the fellow is not likely to work 
harm through his own power, he will egg on another to 
it. As the saying goes: 


The weak, malicious fool 
Can use a keener tool: 
It sharpens sword-blades, but 
The whetstone cannot cut." 

"How can that be?" said the lion. And Victor an- 
swered : "Why, you have constantly engaged in battle 
with unnumbered bull-elephants, wild oxen, buffaloes, 
boars, tigers, and leopards, until your body is spotted 
with scars left by the thrust of claw and tusk. Now 
this Lively, living beside you, is always scattering his 
excrement far and wide. In it worms will breed. 
These worms, finding your body conveniently near, 
will creep into ready-made crevices, and will bore 
deep. And so you are as good as dead. As the proverb 

With no stranger share your house; 

Leap, the flea, killed Creep, the louse." 

"How was that?" asked Rusty. And Victor told 
the story of 


In the palace of a certain king stood an incom- 
parable bed, blessed with every cubiculary virtue. 
In a corner of its coverlet lived a female louse named 
Creep. Surrounded by a thriving family of sons and 
daughters, with the sons and daughters of sons and 
daughters, and with more remote descendants, she 
drank the king's blood as he slept. On this diet she 
grew plump and handsome. 

While she was living there in this manner, a flea 
named Leap drifted in on the wind and dropped on 


the bed. This flea felt supreme satisfaction on exam- 
ining the bed — the wonderful delicacy of its coverlet, 
its double pillow, its exceptional softness like that of 
a broad, Gangetic sand-bank, its delicious perfume. 
Charmed by the sheer delight of touching it, he 
hopped this way and that until — fate willed it so — he 
chanced to meet Creep, who said to him: "Where 
do you come from? This is a dwelling fit for a king. 
Begone, and lose no time about it." "Madam," said 
he, "you should not say such things. For 

The Brahman reverences fire, 
Himself the lower castes' desire; 
The wife reveres her husband dear; 
But all the world must guests revere. 

Now I am your guest. I have of late sampled the va- 
rious blood of Brahmans, warriors, business men, and 
serfs, but found it acid, slimy, quite unwholesome. 
On the contrary, he who reposes on this bed must 
have a delightful vital fluid, just like nectar. It must 
be free from morbidity, since wind, bile, and phlegm 
are kept in harmony by constant and heedful use of 
potions prepared by physicians. It must be enriched 
by viands unctuous, tender, melting in the mouth; 
viands prepared from the flesh of the choicest crea- 
tures of land, water, and air, seasoned furthermore 
with sugar, pomegranate, ginger, and pepper. To me 
it seems an elixir of life. Therefore, with your kind 
permission, I plan to taste this sweet and fragrant 
substance, thus combining pleasure and profit." 


"Noj" said she. "For fiery-mouthed stingers like 

you, it is out of the question. Leave this bed. You 

know the proverb: 

The fool who does not know 
His own resource, his foe. 
His duty, time, and place. 
Who sets a reckless pace. 
Will by the wayside fall. 
Will reap no fruit at all." 

Thereupon he fell at her feet, repeating his re- 
quest. And she agreed, since courtesy was her hobby, 
and since, when the story of that prince of sharpers, 
Muladeva, was being repeated to the king while she 
lay on a corner of the coverlet, she had heard how 
Muladeva quoted this verse in answer to the question 
of a certain damsel: 

Whoever, angry though he be. 
Has spurned a suppliant enemy. 
In Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, he 
Has scorned the Holy Trinity. 

Recalling this, she agreed, but added: "However, 
you must not come to dinner at a wrong place or 
time." "What is the right place and what is the right 
time?" he asked. "Being a newcomer, I am not au 
courant." And she replied: "When the king's body is 
mastered by wine, fatigue, or sleep, then you may 
quietly bite him on the feet. This is the right place 
and the right time." To these conditions he gave his 

In spite of this arrangement, the famished bun- 


gler, when the king had just dozed off in the early 
evening, bit him on the back. And the poor king, as 
if burned by a firebrand, as if stung by a scorpion, 
as if touched by a torch, bounded to his feet, 
scratched his back, and cried to a servant: "Ras- 
cal! Somebody bit me. You must hunt through this 
bed until you find the insect." 

Now Leap heard the king's command and in terri- 
fied haste crept into a crevice in the bed. Then the 
king's servants entered, and following their master's 
orders, brought a lamp and made a minute inspection. 
As fate would have it, they came upon Creep as she 
crouched in the nap of the fabric, and killed her with 
her family. 

"And that is why I say: 

With no stranger share your house, .... 

and the rest of it. And another thing. My lord and 
king does wrong in neglecting the servants who are 
his by inheritance. For 

Whoever leaves his friends. 

Strange folk to cherish. 
Like foolish Fierce-Howl, will 

Untimely perish." 

"How was that?" asked Rusty. And Victor told 

the story of 


There was once a jackal named Fierce-Howl, who 

lived in a cave near the suburbs of a city. One day he 

was hunting for food, his throat pinched with hunger. 


and wandered into the city after nightfall. There the 
city dogs snapped at his limbs with their sharp- 
pointed teeth, and terrified his heart with their dread- 
ful barking, so that he stumbled this way and that in 
his efforts to escape and happened into the house of 
a dyer. There he tumbled into a tremendous indigo 
vat, and all the dogs went home. 

Presently the jackal — further life being predes- 
tined — managed to crawl out of the indigo vat and 
escaped into the forest. There all the thronging ani- 
mals in his vicinity caught a glimpse of his body dyed 
with the juice of indigo, and crying out: "What is 
this creature enriched with that unprecedented 
color?" they fled, their eyes dancing with terror, and 
spread the report: "Oh, oh! Here is an exotic crea- 
ture that has dropped from somewhere. Nobody 
knows what his conduct might be, or his energy. We 
are going to vamoose. For the proverb says: 

Where you do not know 
Conduct, stock, and pluck, 

*Tis not wise to trust. 
If you wish for luck." 

Now Fierce-Howl perceived their dismay, and 
called to them: "Come, come, you wild things! Why 
do you flee in terror at sight of me? For Indra, real- 
izing that the forest creatures have no monarch, 
anointed me — ^my name is Fierce-Howl — as your 
king. Rest in safety within the cage formed by my 
resistless paws." 


On hearing this, the lions, tigers, leopards, mon- 
keys, rabbits, gazelles, jackals, and other species of 
wild life bowed humbly, saying: "Master, prescribe 
to us our duties." Thereupon he appointed the lion 
prime minister and the tiger lord of the bedchamber, 
while the leopard was made custodian of the king's 
betel, the elephant doorkeeper, and the monkey the 
bearer of the royal parasol. But to all the jackals, his 
own kindred, he administered a cuffing, and drove 
them away. Thus he enjoyed the kingly glory, while 
lions and others killed food-animals and laid them be- 
fore him. These he divided and distributed to all after 
the manner of kings. 

While time passed in this fashion, he was sitting 
one day in his court when he heard the sound made 
by a pack of jackals howling near by. At this his 
body thrilled, his eyes filled with tears of joy, he 
leaped to his feet, and began to howl in a piercing 
tone. When the lions and others heard this, they per- 
ceived that he was a jackal, and stood for a moment 
shamefaced and downcast, then they said: "Look! 
We have been deceived by this jackal. Let the fellow 
be killed." And when he heard this, he endeavored to 
flee, but was torn to bits by a tiger and died. 

"And that is why I say: 

Whoever leaves his friends, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Then Rusty asked: "How am I to recognize that 


he is treacherous? And what is his fighting tech- 
nique?" And Victor answered: "Formerly he would 
come into the presence of my lord and king with limbs 
relaxed. If today he approaches timidly, in obvious 
readiness to thrust with his horns, then the king may 
understand that he has treachery in mind." 

Hereupon Victor rose and visited Lively. To him, 
also, he showed himself sluggish, like one penetrated 
by discouragement. Therefore Lively said: "My 
good fellow, are you in spirits?" To which he replied: 
"How can a dependent be in spirits? For you know 

They see their wealth in others' power 

Who wait upon a king; 
They even fear to lose their lives: 

A doleful song they sing. 


With birth begin the sorrows which 

Forever after cling, 
The never ending train of woes 

In service of a king. 

Five deaths-in-life sage Vyasa notes 
With well-known epic swing: 

The poor man, sick man, exile, fool, 
And servant of a king. 

His food repels; he dare not say 

An independent thing; 
Though sleepless, he is not awake 

Who hangs upon a king. 


The common phrase 'a dog's life' has 

A most persuasive ring: 
But dogs can do the things they like; 

A slave obeys his king. 

He must be chaste, sleep hard, grow thin. 

And eat a meager dinner: 
The servant lives as lives the saint. 

Yet is not saint, but sinner. 

He cannot do the things he would; 

He serves another's mind; 
He sells his body. How can such 

A wretch contentment find? 

According to the lesser distance, 
A servant uses more persistence 
In watching for his master's whim 
And trembling at the sight of him: 
And this because a fire, a king, 
Are double name for single thing, 
A burning thing that men can stand 
Afar, but not too close at hand. 

What flavor has a tidbit, though 

It be as good as good, 
Soft, dainty, melting in the mouth. 

If bought by servitude? 

To sum it all up: 

What is my place? My time? My friends? 
Expenditure or dividends? 
And what am I? And what my power? 
So must one ponder hour by hour." 

After listening to this. Lively said, perceiving that 
^^ctor had a hidden purpose in mind: "Tell me, my 


good felloTj, what you wish to imply." And "N^ctor 
answer^: "Well, you are my friend. I cannot help 
telling "^u what is to your profit. Here goes. The 
master. Rusty, is filled with wrath against you. And 
he said today: 'I will kill Lively and provide a feast 
for all who eat meat.* Of course, I fell into deep dejec- 
tion on hearing this. Now you must do what the 
crisis demands." 

To Lively this report was like the fall of a thunder- 
bolt, and he fell into deep dejection. Yet as Victor's 
words were always plausible, he grew more and more 
troubled, fell into a panic, and said: "Yes, the proverb 

is right: 

Women oft are tricked by scamps; 

Kings with rascals oft agree; 
Toward the skinflints money drifts; 

Rain on mountains falls and sea. 

Ah, me! Ah, me! What is this that has befallen me? 

You serve your king most heedfuUy. 

Of course. Who could complain? 
But enmity as your reward 

Is unexpected pain. 

And again: 

If one is angry, giving cause, 
Remove it, and the wrath will pause: 
But how may man propitiate 
A mind that harbors causeless hate? 

Who does not fear the scoundrel's art, 
The causeless hate, the flinty heart? 
For ever ready venom drips 
Resisdess from his serpent-lips. 


The stupid king-swan pecks by nigl\( 
At starshine, in the water bright||^ 
Believing it a lotus white; 

Then, fearing stars when shines the sun, 

Avoids the lotus. Everyone 

Who dreads a trap, will blessings shun. 

Alas! What wrong have I done our master Rusty?" 
"Comrade," said Victor, "kings love to injure 
without reason, and they seek out the vulnerable spot 
in an adversary." "True, too true," said Lively. 
"There is wisdom in the verse: 

The serpent sandal-trees defiles; 
In lotus-ponds lurk crocodiles; 
The slanderer makes virtue vain: 
No blessing lacks attendant pain. 

No lotus decks the mountain height; 
From scoundrels issues nothing right; 
To saints no change of heart is known; 
Rice never sprouts from barley sown. 

Nobility's constraints 
Are felt by gracious saints. 
Who bear good deeds in mind 
Forget the other kind. 

"Yet, after all, the fault is mine, because I made 
advances to a false friend. As the story goes: 

Harsh talk, untimely action. 
False friends — are worse than vain: 

The swan in lilies sleeping. 
Was by the arrow slain." 


"How was that?" asked Vic&r. And Lively told 
the story of 


Within a certain forest was a broad expanse of 
lake. There lived a king-swan named Passion, who 
spent his days in a great variety of pastimes. One day 
death, fatal death, visited him in the person of an 
owl. And the swan said: "This is a lonely wood. 
Where do you come from ?" The owl replied : "I came 
because I heard of your virtues. Furthermore, 

In search of virtue roaming 

The wide world through, 
No virtues being greater, 

I come to you. 

That I must cling in friendship 

To you, is sure: 
The impure turns, attaining 

The Ganges, pure. 

And again: 

The conch was bone that Vishnu's hand 

Has purified: 
For contact with the righteous lends 

A noble pride." 

After this address, the swan gave his assent, in the 
words: "My excellent friend, dwell with me as you 
like by this broad lake in this pleasant wood." So 
their time was spent in friendly diversions. 

But one day the owl said: "I am going to my own 
home, which is called Lotus Grove. If you set any 


value on me and feel any aiFecdon, you must not fail 
to pay a visit as my guest." With these words he went 

Now as time passed, the swan reflected: "I have 
grown old, living in this spot, and I do not know a 
single other region. So now I will go to visit my dear 
friend, the owl. There I shall find a brand-new recrea- 
tion ground and new kinds of food, both hard and 

After these reflections, he went to visit the owl. 
At first he could not find him in Lotus Grove, and 
•when, after a minute search, he discovered him, 
there was the poor creature crouching in an ugly hole, 
for he was blind in the daytime. But Passion called: 
"My dear fellow, come out! I am your dear friend 
the swan, come to pay you a visit." 

And the owl replied: "I do not stir by day. You 
and I will meet when the sun has set." So the swan 
waited a long time, met the owl at night, and after 
giving the conventional information about his health, 
being wearied by his journey, he went to sleep on the 

Now it happened that a large commercial caravan 
had encamped at that very lake. At dawn the leader 
rose and had the signal of departure ^ven by conch. 
This the owl answered with a loud, harsh hoot, then 
dived into a hole in the river-bank. But the swan did 
not stir. Now the evil omen so disturbed the leader's 
spirit that he gave orders to a certain archer who 


could aim by sound. This archer strung his powerful 
bow, drew an arrow as far as his ear, and killed the 
swan, who was resting near the owl's nest. 

"And that is why I say: 

Harsh talk, untimely action, .... 

and the rest of it." 

And Lively continued: "Why, our master Rusty 
was all honey at first, but at the last his purpose turns 
to poison. Ah, yes! 

He compliments you to your face; 

His whispered slanders never stop: 
Avoid a friend like that. He is 

A poison-jug with cream on top. 

"Yes, I have learned by experience the truth of 

the well-known verse: 

He lifts his hands to see you standing there; 
His eyes grow moist; he offers half his chair; 
He hugs you warmly to his eager breast; 
In kindly talk and question finds no rest; 
His skill is wondrous in deceptive tricks; 
Honey without, within the poison sticks: 
What play is this, what strange dramatic turns. 
That every villain, like an actor, learns? 

At first rogues' friendship glitters bright 
With service, flattery, delight; 
Thence, in its middle journey, shoot 
Gay flowers of speech that fail to fruit; 
Its final goal is treason, shame, 
Disgust, and slanders that defame: 
Alas! Who made the curs&l thing? 
Its one foul purpose is to sting. 


And again: 

They bow abjectly; leap to greet 
You with their speech seductive-sweet; 
Pursue and hug you day by day; 
Of deep devotion make display: 
All praise your virtue. Never one 
Finds time to do what should be done. 

"Woe is me! How can I, a creature herbivorous, 

consort with this lion who devours raw flesh? There 

is wisdom in the saying: 

Where wealth is very much the same, 
And similar the family fame. 
Marriage or friendship is secure; 
But not between the rich and poor. 

And there is a proverb: 

The sun, already setting, shows 

His final flaming power, 
And still the honey-thirsty bee 

Explores the lotus-flower. 
Forgets that it will prove a trap 

That shuts at set of sun: 
Ambition, thirsting for reward. 

Is blind to dangers run. 

Abandoning the lotus-bloom 

With all its sweet content. 
The jasmine's natural perfume 

And luxury of scent. 
The water-bees seek toilsome food, 

On ichor-sipping bent: 
So men reject the easy good. 

In rogues o'erconfident. 


The bees that, too adventurous, 

A novel honey seek 
In springtime ichor glistening on 

The elephant-monarch's cheek, 
When, tossed by wind from flapping ears, 

They tumble to the ground, 
Remember then what gentle sport 

In lotus-cups is found. 

Yet, after all, virtues involve corresponding defects. 


The fruit-tree's branch by very wealth 

Of fruit is bended low; 
The peacock's feathered pride compels 

A sluggish gait and slow; 
The blooded horse that wins his race. 

Must like a cow be led: 
The good in goodness often find 

An enemy to dread. 

Where Jumna's waves roll blue 
With sands of sapphire hue. 
Black serpents have their lair; 
And who would hunt them there. 
But that a jewel's bright star 
From each hood gleams afar? 
By virtue rising, all 
By that same virtue fall. 

The man of virtue commonly 

Is hateful to the king. 
While riches to the scamps and fools 

Habitually cling: 
The ancient chant 'By virtue great 

Is man' has run to seed; 
The world takes rare and little note 

Of any plucky deed. 


Sad, shamefaced lions fdl to rage, 
Their spirit mastered by the cage; 
And captive elephants' brows and pride 
By drivers' goads are scarified; 
Charms dull the cobras; hopeless woe 
Lays scholars flat and soldiers low: 
For Time, the mountebank, enjoys 
A juggling bout with chosen toys. 

The honey-greedy bee — poor fool! — 
Deserts the flowering lotus-pool 
Where danger is not found, to sip 
The springtime ichor-rills that drip 
From elephant foreheads; does not fear 
The flapping of that monstrous ear: 
So, by his nature, greedy man 
Forgets the issue of his plan. 

"Yes, by entering a vulgarian's sphere of power, 

I have certainly forfeited my life. As the proverb 


All who live upon their wits. 

Many learnM, too, are mean, 
Do the wrong as quick as right: 

Illustration may be seen 
In the well-known tale that features 
Camel, crow, and other creatures." 

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Lively told 
the story of 


In a certain city lived a merchant named Ocean, 
who loaded a hundred camels with valuable doth and 
set out in a certain direction. Now one of his camels. 


whose name was Ugly, was overburdened and fell 
limp, with every limb relaxed. Then the merchant 
divided the pack of cloth, loaded it on other camels, 
and because he found himself in a wild forest region 
where delay was impossible, he proceeded, leaving 
Ugly behind. 

When the trader was gone. Ugly hobbled about 
and began to crop the grass. Thus in a very few days 
the poor fellow regained his strength. 

In that forest lived a lion whose name was 
Haughty, who had as hangers-on a leopard, a crow, 
and a jackal. As they roamed the forest, they en- 
countered the abandoned camel, and the lion said, 
after observing his fantastic and comical shape: 
"This is an exotic in our forest. Ask him what he is." 
So the crow informed himself of the facts and said: 
"This is what goes by the name of camel in the 
world." Thereupon the lion asked him: "My good 
friend, where did you come from?" And the camel 
gave precise details of his separation from the trader, 
so that the lion experienced compassion and guar- 
anteed his personal security. 

In this posture of affairs, the lion fought an ele- 
phant one day, received a thrust from a tusk, and 
had to keep his cave. And when five or six days had 
passed, they all found themselves in urgent distress 
from the failure of food. So the lion, observing how 
they drooped, said to them: "I am crippled by this 
wound and cannot supply you with the usual food. 


You will just have to make an effort on your own 

And they replied: "Why should we care to thrive, 
while our lord and king is in this state?" "Bravo!" 
said the lion. "You show the conduct and devotion 
of good servants. Round up some food-animal for 
me while I am in this condition." Then, when they 
madenoanswer, hesaid to them: "Come! Do not be 
bashful. Hunt up some creature. Even in my present 
condition I will convert it into food for you and my- 

So the four started to roam the woods. Since they 
found no food-animal, the crow and the jackal con- 
ferred together, and the jackal said: "Friend crow, 
why roam about? Here is Ugly, who trusts our king. 
Let us provide for our sustenance by killing him." 

"A very good suggestion," said the crow. "But 
after all, the master guaranteed his personal security, 
and so cannot kill him." 

"Quite so," said the jackal. "I will interview the 
master and make him think of killing Ugly. Stay 
right here until I go home and return with the mas- 
ter's answer." With this he hastened to the master. 

When he found the lion, he said: "Master, we 
have roamed the entire forest, and are now too fam- 
ished to stir a foot. Besides, the king is on a diet. So, 
if the king commands, one might fortify one's health 
today by means of Ugly's flesh." 

When the lion had listened to this ruthless pro- 


posal, he cried out. angrily: "Shame upon you, most 
degraded of sinners! The moment you repeat those 
words, I will strike you dead. Why, I guaranteed his 
personal security. How can I kill him with my own 
paw? You have heard the saying: 

The wise declare and understand 
No gift of cow or food or land 
To be among all gifts as grand 
As safety granted on demand." 

"Master," replied the jackal, "if you kill him after 
guaranteeing his safety, then you are indeed blame- 
worthy. If, however, of his own accord he devotedly 
offers his own life to his lord and king, then no blame 
attaches. So you may kill him on condition that he 
voluntarily destines himself to slaughter. Otherwise, 
pray eat one or another of the rest of us. For the king 
is on a diet, and if food fails, he will experience a 
change for the worse. In that case, what value have 
these lives of ours, which will no longer be spent in 
our master's service? If anything disagreeable hap- 
pens to our gracious master, then we must follow him 
into the fire. For the proverb says: 

Save the chieftain of the clan. 

Whatsoe'er the pain; 
Lose him, and the clan is lost: 

Hubless spokes are vain." 

After listening to this, Haughty said: "Very well. 
Do as you will." 

With this message the jackal hastened to say to 


the others: "Well, friends, the master is very low. 
Tlie life is oozing from the tip of his nose. If he goes, 
who will be our protector in this forest? So, since star- 
vation is driving him toward the other world, let us 
go and voluntarily oflFer our own bodies. Thus we 
shall pay the debt we owe our gracious master. And 
the proverb says: 

Servants, when disaster 
G)mes upon their master. 
If alive and well. 
Tread the road to hell." 

So they all went, their eyes brimming with tears, 
bowed low before Haughty, and sat down. 

On seeing them. Haughty said: "My friends, did 
you catch any creature, or see any?" And the crow 
replied: "Master, though we roamed everywhere, we 
still did not catch any creature, nor see any. Master, 
pray eat me and support your life for a day. Thus the 
master will be replete, while I shall rise to heaven. 
For the saying goes: 

A servant who, in loyal love, 

Has yielded up his breath. 
Adorns a lofty seat in heaven, : 

Secure from age and death." 

On hearing this, the jackal said: "Your body is 
small. If he ate you, the master would scarcely pro- 
long his life. Besides, there is a moral objection. For 
the verse tells us: 

Crows' flesh and such small leavings 
Are things to be passed by: 


Why eat an evil somewhat 
That does not satisfy? 

"You have shown your loyalty, and have won a 
saintly reputation in both worlds. Now make way, 
while I address the master." So the jackal bowed re- 
spectfully and said: "Master, pray use my body to 
support your life today, thus conferring on me the 
best of earth and heaven. For the proverb says: 

Since servants' lives on masters hang 

In forfeit for their pay, 
The master perpetrates no sin 

In taking them away." 

Hearing this, the leopard said: "Very praise- 
worthy, indeed, my friend. However, your body is 
rather small, too. Besides, he ought not to eat you, 
since you belong to the same unguipugnacious family. 
You know the proverb: 

The prudent, though with life at stake. 

Avoid forbidden food 
(Too small at that) — from fear to lose 
Both earth's and heaven's good. 

Well, you have shown yourself a loyal servant. There 
is truth in the stanza: 

That swarms of gentlemen delight 

A monarch, is not strange, 
Since, first and last and times between. 

Their honor does not change. 

Make way, then, so that I, too, may mn the master's 

Thereupon the leopard bowed low and said: 


go with his wife into the forest, where he cut great 
anjana logs. Now in that forest lived a lion named 
Spotless, who had as hangers-on two carnivorous 
creatures, a jackal and a crow. 

One day the lion was roaming the wood alone and 
encountered the carpenter. The carpenter for his 
part, on beholding that most alarming lion, whether 
considering himself already lost or perhaps with the 
ready wit to perceive that it is safer to face the 
powerful, advanced to meet the lion, bowed low, and 
said: "Come, friend, come! Today you must eat my 
own dinner which my wife — ^your brother's vik — 
has provided." 

"My good fellow," said the lion, "being carnivor- 
ous, I do not live on rice. But in spite of that, I will 
have a taste, since I take a fancy to you. What kind 
of dainty have you got?" 

When the lion had spoken, the carpenter stuffed 
him with all kinds of dainties — buns, muffins, chew- 
ers, and things, all flavored with sugar, butter, grape- 
juice, and spice. And to show his gratitude, the lion 
guaranteed his safety and granted unhindered pas- 
sage through the forest. Then the carpenter said: 
"Comrade, you must come here every day, but please 
come alone. You must not bring anyone else to visit 
me." In this manner they spent their days in friend- 
ship. And the lion, since every day he received such 
hospitality, such a variety of goodies, gave up the 
practice of hunting. 


Then the jackal and the crow, who lived on others' 
luck, went hungry, and they implored the lion. 
"Master," they said, "where do you go every day? 
And tell us why you come back so happy." "I don't 
go anywhere," said he. But when they urged the 
question with great deference, the lion said: "A friend 
of mine comes into this wood every day. His wife 
cooks the most delicious things, and I eat them every 
day, in order to show friendly feeling." 

Then the jackal and the crow said: "We two will 
go there, will kill the carpenter, and have enough 
meat and blood to keep us fat for a long time." But 
the lion heard them and said: "Look here! I guar- 
anteed his safety. How can I even ima^ne playing 
him such a scurvy trick? But I will get a delicious 
tidbit from him for you also." To this they agreed. 

So the three started to find the carpenter. While 
they were still far off, the carpenter caught a glimpse 
of the lion and his seedy companions, and he thought: 
"This does not look prosperous to me." So he and 
his wife made haste to climb a tree. 

Then the lion came up and said: "My good fel- 
low, why did you climb a tree when you saw me? 
Why, I am your friend, the lion. My name is Spot- 
less. Do not be alarmed." But the carpenter stayed 
where he was and said: 

Your jackal does not reassure; 

Your crow's sharp bill offends: 
You therefore see me up a tree — 

I do not like your friends. 


"And that is why I say that a king with shabby 
advisers brings no good to his dependents." 

After telling the story. Lively continued: "Some- 
body must have set Rusty against me. Besides: 

Soft water's scars elide 
The mighty mountain side, 

And leave it much diminished: 
By those who have the trick 
To make a whisper stick 

Man's gentleness is finished. 

"Under these circumstances, what action is op- 
portune? Indeed, there is nothing left save battle. 
For the proverb says: 

By gifts, by self-denial. 
By sacrificial trial. 

Some slowly win to heaven; 
To him who yields his life 
In glad, heroic strife. 

Quick entrance there is given. 

And again: 

The slain attains the sky, 
The victor joyful lives; 

And heroes are content 
With these alternatives. 

And once again: 

Gay maidens, smart with gems and gold; 

The flyflap's royal toy; 
Throne, horse, and elephant, and cash; 

The white umbrella, joy 
And sign of monarchs — shun the coward, 

Are not for mamma's boy." 


When he heard this, Victor thought: "The fellow 
has sharp horns and plenty of vigor. He might per- 
haps strike down the master, if fate decreed it. That 
would not do, either. And the proverb says: 

Even with heroes victory 

Whimsically may alight. 
Try three other methods first; 

Only in extremis fight. 

So I will use my wits to turn his thoughts from fight- 
ing." And he said: "My dear fellow, this is not a 
good plan, because 

He loses fights who fights before 
His foeman's power is reckoned: 

The ocean and the plover fought. 
And ocean came out second." 

"How was that?" asked Lively. And Victor told 
the story of 


A plover and his wife once lived by the shore of 
the sea, the mighty sea that swarms with fish, 
crocodiles, turtles, sharks, porpoises, pearl oysters, 
shellfish, and other teeming life. The plover was 
called Sprawl, and his wife's name was Constance. 

In due time she became pregnant and was ready 
to lay her eggs. So she said to her husband: "Please 
find a spot where I may lay my eggs." "Why," said 
he, "this home of ours, inherited from our ancestors, 
promises progress. Lay your eggs here." "Oh," said 


she, "don't mention this dreadful place. Here is the 
ocean near at hand. His tide might some day make a 
long reach and lick away my babies." 

But the plover answered: "Sweetheart, he knows 
me, he knows Sprawl. Surely the great ocean cannot 
show such enmity to me. Did you never hear this? 

What man is rash enough to take 
The gleaming crest-jewel from a snake? 
Or stirs the wrath of one so dread 
His glance may strike his victim dead? 

However summer heat distresses 
In wild and treeless wildernesses, 
Who, after all, would seek the shade 
By some rogue elephant's body made? 

And again: 

When morning's chilly breezes blow 
With whirling particles of snow, 
What man with sense of value sure. 
Employs for cold the water cure? 

To visit Death what man desires. 
So wakes the lion's sleeping fires. 
Who, tired from slaying elephants. 
Lies in a temporary trance? 

Who dares to visit and defy 

The death-god? Dares the fearless cry — 

I challenge you to single strife; 

If power be yours, pray take my life? 

What son of man, with simple vnt. 
Defies the fire, and enters it — 
The smokeless flame that terrifies. 
Whose tongues by hundreds lick die skies?" 


But even as he spoke, his wife laughed outright, 
since she knew the full measure of his capacity, and 
she said: "Very fine, indeed. There is plenty more 
where that came from. O king of birds. 

Your heavy boastings startle, shock. 
And make of you a laughingstock: 
One marvels if the rabbit plants 
A dung-pile like the elephant's. 

How can you fail to appreciate your own strength and 
weakness? There is a saying: 

To know one's self is hard, to know 

Wise effort, effort vain; 
But accurate self-critics are 

Secure in times of strain. 

This much of effort brings success; 

I have the power; I can: 
So think, then act, and reap the fruit 

Of your judicious plan. 

And there is sound sense in this: 

To take advice from kindly friends 

Be ever satisfied: 
The stupid turtle lost his grip 

Upon the stick, and died." 

"How was that?" asked Sprawl. And Constance 
told the story of 


In a certain lake lived a turtle named Shell-Neck. 
He had as friends two ganders whose names were Slim 
and Grim. Now in the vicissitudes of time there came 


a twelve-year drought, which begot ideas of this 
nature in the two ganders: "This lake has gone dry. 
Let us seek another body of water. However, we must 
first say farewell to Shell-Neck, our dear and long- 
proved friend." 

When they did so, the turtle said: "Why do you 
bid me farewell? I am a water-dweller, and here I 
should perish very quickly from the scant supply of 
water and from grief at loss of you. Therefore, if you 
feel any affection for me, please rescue me from the 
jaws of this death. Besides, as the water dries in this 
lake, you two suiFer nothing beyond a restricted diet, 
while to me it means immediate death. Consider 
which is more serious, loss of food or loss of life." 

But they replied: "We are unable to take you 
with us since you are a water-creature without 
wings." Yet the turtle continued: "There is a pos- 
sible device. Bring a stick of wood." This they did, 
whereupon the turtle gripped the middle of the stick 
between his teeth, and said: "Now take firm hold 
with your bills, one on each side, fly up, and travel 
with even flight through the sky, until we discover 
another desirable body of water." 

But they objected: "There is a hitch in this fine 
plan. If you happen to indulge in the smallest con- 
versation, then you will lose your hold on the stick, 
will fall from a great height, and will be dashed to 

"Oh," said the turtle, "from this moment I take 


a vow of silence, to last as long as we are in heaven." 
So they carried out the plan, but while the two 
ganders were painfully carrying the turtle over a 
neighboring city, the people below noticed the spec- 
tacle, and there arose a confused buzz of talk as they 
asked: "What is this cartlike object that two birds 
are carrying through the atmosphere?" 

Hearing this, the doomed turtle was heedless 
enough to ask: "What are these people chattering 
about?" The moment he spoke, the poor simpleton 
lost his grip and fell to the ground. And persons who 
wanted meat cut him to bits in a moment with 
sharp knives. 

"And that is why I say: 

To take advice from kindly friends, .... 

and the rest of it." And Constance continued: 
Forethought and Readywit thrive; 
Fatalist can't keep alive. 

"How was that?" asked Sprawl. And she told the 
story of 


In a great lake lived three full-grown fishes, whose 
names were Forethought, Readywit, and Fatalist. 
Now one day the fish named Forethought overheard 
passers-by on the bank and fishermen saying: "There 


are plenty of fish in this pond. Tomorrow we go fish- 

On hearing this, Forethought reflected: "This 
looks bad. Tomorrow or the day after they will be 
sure to come here. I will take Readywit and Fatalist 
and move to another lake whose waters are not 
troubled." So he called them and put the question. 

Thereupon Readywit said: "I have lived long in 
this lake and cannot move in such a hurry. If fisher- 
men come here, then I will protect myself by some 
means devised for the occasion." 

But poor, doomed Fatalist said: "There are 
sizable lakes elsewhere. Who knows whether they will 
come here or not? One should not abandon the lake 
of his birth merely because of such small gossip. And 
the proverb says: 

Since scamp and sneak and snake 
So often undertake 
A plan that does not thrive. 
The world wags on, alive. 

Therefore I am determined not to go." And when 
Forethought realized that their minds were made up, 
he went to another body of water. 

On the next day, when he had gone, the fishermen 
with their boys beset the inner pool, cast a net, and 
caught all the fish without exception. Under these cir- 
cumstances Readywit, while still in the water, played 
dead. And since they thought: "This big fellow died 
without help," they drew him from the net and laid 


him on the bank, from which he wriggled back to 
safety in the water. But Fatalist stuck his nose into 
the meshes of the net, struggling until they pounded 
him repeatedly with clubs and so killed him. 

"And that is why I say: 

Forethought and Readywit thrive; 
Fatalist can't keep alive." 

"My dear," said the plover, "why do you think 
me like Fatalist? 

Horses, elephants, and iron, 

Water, woman, man, 
Sticks and stones and clothes are built 

On a different plan. 

Feel no anxiety. Who can bring humiliation upon 
you while my arms protect you?" 

So Constance laid her eggs, but the ocean, who had 
listened to the previous conversation, thought: 
"Well, well! There is sense in the saying: 

Of self-conceit all creatures show 

An adequate supply: 
The plover lies with claws upstretched 

To prop the falling sky. 

I will just put his power to the test." 

So the next day, when the two plovers had gone 
foraging, he made a long reach with his wave-hands 
and eagerly seized the eggs. Then when the hen- 
plover returned and found the nursery empty, she 
said to her husband: "See what has happened to poor 


me. The ocean seized my eggs today. I told you more 
than once that we should move, but you were stupid 
as Fatalist and would not go. Now I am so sad at the 
loss of my children that I have decided to burn my- 

"My dear," said the plover, "wait until you wit- 
ness my power, until I dry up that rascally ocean 
with my bill." But she replied: "My dear husband, 
how can you fight the ocean ? Furthermore, 

Gay simpletons who fight. 
Not estimating right 
The foe's power and their own. 
Like moths in flame atone." 

"My dear," said the plover, "you should not say 
such things. 

The sun's new-risen beams 

Upon the mountains fall: 
Where glory is cognate. 

Age matters not at all. 

With this bill I shall dry up the water to the last drop, 
and turn the sea into dry land." "Darling," said his 
wife, "with a bill that holds one drop how will you 
dry up the ocean, into which pour without ceasing 
the Ganges and the Indus, bearing the water of nine 
times nine hundred tributary streams ? Why talk non- 
sense?" But the plover said: 

Success is rooted in the will; 
And I possess an iron-strong bill; 
Long days and nights before me lie: 
Why should not ocean's flood go dry? 


The highest glory to attain 
Asks enterprise and manly strain: 
The sun must first to Libra climb 
Before he routs the cloudy time. 

"Well," said his wife, "if you feel that you must 
make war on the ocean, at least call other birds to 
your aid before you begin. For the proverb says: 

A host where each is weak 

Brings victory to pass: 
The elephant is bound 

By woven ropes of grass. 

And again: 

Woodpecker and sparrow 

With froggy and gnat. 
Attacking en masse, laid 

The elephant flat."" 

"How was that?" asked Sprawl, And Constance 
told the story of 


In a dense bit of jungle lived a sparrow and his 
wife, who had built their nest on the branch of a tamal 
tree, and in course of time a family appeared. 

Now one day a jungle elephant with the spring 
fever was distressed by the heat, and came beneath 
that tamal tree in search of shade. Blinded by his 
fever, he pulled with the tip of his trunk at the branch 
where the sparrows had their nest, and broke it. In 
the process the sparrows' eggs were crushed, though 


the parent-birds — further life bdng predestined — 
barely escaped death. 

Then the hen-sparrow lamented, desolate with 
grief at the death of her chicks. And presently, hear- 
ing her lamentation, a woodpecker bird, a great friend 
of hers, came grieved at her grief, and said: "My dear 
friend, why lament in vain? For the Scripture says: 

For lost and dead and past 
The wise have no laments: 

Between the wise and fools 
Is just this diiFerence. 

And again: 

No life deserves lament; 

Fools borrow trouble. 
Add sadness to the sad. 

So make it double. 

And yet again: 

Since kinsmen's sticky tears 

Clog the departed. 
Bury them decendy, 

Tearless, whole-hearted." 

"That is good doctrine," said the hen-sparrow, 
"but what of it? This elephant — curse his spring 
fever I — skilled my babies. So if you are my friend, 
think of some plan to kill this big elephant. If that 
were done, I should feel less grief at the death of my 
children. You know the saying: 

While one brings comfort in distress. 

Another jeers at pain; 
By paying both as they deserve, 

A man is born again." 


"Madam," said the woodpecker, "your remark is 
very true. For the proverb says: 

A friend in need is a friend indeed. 

Although of different caste; 
The whole world is your eager friend 

So long as riches last. 

And again: 

A friend in need is a friend indeed; 
Fathers indeed are those who feed; 
True comrades they, and wives indeed. 
Whence trust and sweet content proceed. 

"Now see what my wit can devise. But you must 
know that I, too, have a friend, a gnat called Lute- 
Buzz. I will return with her, so that this villainous 
beast of an elephant may be killed." 

So he went with the hen-sparrow, found the gnat, 
and said: "Dear madam, this is my friend the hen- 
sparrow. She is mourning because a villainous ele- 
phant smashed her eggs. So you must lend your 
assistance while I work out a plan for killing him." 

"My good friend," said the gnat, "there is only 
one possible answer. But I also have a very intimate 
friend, a frog named Cloud-Messenger. Let us do the 
right thing by calling him into consultation. For the 
proverb says: 

A wise companion find, 
Shrewd, learned, righteous, kind; 
For plans by him designed 
Are never undermined." 


So all three went together and told Cloud-Mes- 
senger the entire story. And the frog said: "How 
feeble a thing is that wretched elephant when pitted 
against a great throng enraged! Gnat, you must go 
and buzz in his fevered ear, so that he may shut his 
eyes in delight at hearing your music. Then the 
woodpecker's bill will peck out his eyes. After that I 
will sit on the edge of a pit and croak. And he, being 
thirsty, will hear me, and will approach expecting to 
find a body of water. When he comes to the pit, he 
will fall in and perish." 

When they carried out the plan, the fevered ele- 
phant shut his eyes in delight at the song of the gnat, 
was blinded by the woodpecker, wandered thirst- 
smitten at noonday, followed the croak of a frog, came 
to a great pit, fell in, and died. 

"And that is why I say: 

Woodpecker and sparrow 

and the rest of it." 

"Very well," said the plover. "I will assemble my 
friends and dry up the ocean." With this in mind, he 
summoned all the birds and related his grief at the 
rape of his chicks. And they started to beat the ocean 
with their wings, as a means of bringing relief to his 

But one bird said: "Our desires will not be accom- 
plished in this manner. Let us rather fill up the ocean 
with clods and dust." So they all brought what clods 


and dust they could carry in the hollow of their bills 
and started to fill up the ocean. 

Then another bird said: "It is plain that we are 
not equal to a contest with mighty ocean. So I will 
tell you what is now timely. There is an old gander 
who lives beside a banyan tree, who will give us sound 
and practical advice. Let us go and ask him. For 
there is a saying: 

Take old folks' counsel (those are old 

Who have experience) 
The captive wild-goose flock was freed 

By one old gander's sense." 

"How was that?" asked the birds. And the speak- 
er told the story of 


In a part of a forest was a fig tree with massive 
branches. In it lived a flock of wild geese. At the root 
of this tree appeared a creeping vine of the species 
called koshambi. Thereupon the old gander said: 
"This vine that is climbing our fig tree bodes ill to us. 
By means of it, someone might perhaps climb up here 
some day and kill us. Take it away while it is still 
slender and readily cut." But the geese despised his 
counsel and did not cut the vine, so that in course of 
time it wound its way up the tree. 

Now one day when the geese were out foraging, a 
hunter climbed the fig tree by following the spiral 
vine, laid a snare among the nests, and went home. 


When the geese, after food and recreation, returned at 
nightfall, they were caught to the last one. Where- 
upon the old gander said: "Well, the disaster has 
taken place. You are caught, having brought it on 
yourselves by not heeding my advice. We are all lost 

Then the geese said to him: "Sir, the thing having 
come to pass, what ought we to do now?" And the 
old fellow replied: "If you will take my advice, play 
dead when that hateful hunter comes. And when the 
hunter, inferring that we are dead, throws the last one 
to the ground, we then must all rise simultaneously, 
flying over his head." 

At early dawn the hunter arrived, and when he 
looked them over, everyone seemed as good as dead. 
He therefore freed them from the snare with perfect 
assurance, and threw them all to the ground, one after 
the other. But when they saw him preparing to de- 
scend, they all followed the shrewd plan of the old 
gander and flew up simultaneously. 

"And that is why I say: 

Take old folks' counsel, .... 

and the rest of it." 

When the story had been told, all the birds visited 
the old gander and related their grief at the rape of 
the chicks. Then the old gander said: "The king of 
us all is Garuda. Therefore, the timely course of ac- 
tion is this. You must all stir the feelings of Garuda 


by a chorus of wailing lamentation. In consequence, 
he will remove our sorrow." With this purpose they 
sought Garuda. 

Now Garuda had just been summoned by blessed 
Vishnu to take part in an impending battle between 
gods and demons. At just this moment the birds re- 
ported to their master, the king of the birds, what 
sorrow in the separation of loved ones had been 
wrought by the ocean when he seized the chicks. "O 
bird divine," they said, "while you gleam in royal 
radiance, we must live on what little is won by the 
labor of our bills. Because of our weak necessity of 
eating, the ocean has, in overbearing manner, carried 
away our young. Now there is a saying: 

The poor are in peculiar need 
Of being secret when they feed: 
The lion killed the ram who could 
Not check his appetite for food." 

"How was that?" asked Garuda. And an old bird 
told the story of 


In a part of a forest was a ram, separated from 
his flock. In the armor of his great fleece and horns, 
he roamed the wood, a tough customer. 

Now one day a lion in that forest, who had a 
retinue of all kinds of animals, encountered him. At 
this unprecedented sight, since the wool so bristled 
in every direction as to conceal the body, the lion's 


heart was troubled and invaded by fear. "Surely, he 
is more powerful than I am," thought he. "That is 
why he wanders here so fearlessly." And the lion 
edged away. 

But on a later day the lion saw the same ram crop- 
ping grass on the forest floor, and he thought: "What! 
The fellow nibbles grass! His strength must be in 
relation to his diet." So he made a quick spring and 
killed the ram. 

"And that is why I say: 

The poor are in peculiar need 
Of being secret when they feed, 

and the rest of it." 

While they were thus conferring, Vishnu's mes- 
senger returned and said: "Garuda, Lord Vishnu 
sends orders that you repair at once to the celestial 
city." On hearing this, Garuda proudly said to him: 
"Messenger, what will the master do with so poor a 
servant as I am?" 

"Garuda," said the messenger, "it may be that 
the blessM one has spoken to you harshly. But why 
should you display pride toward the blessed one.''" 
And Garuda replied: "The ocean, the resting-place of 
the blessM one, has stolen the eggs of the plover, who 
is my servant. If I do not chastise him, then I am 
not the servant of the blessM one. Make this report 
to the master." 

Now when Vishnu learned from the messenger's 


lips that Garuda was feigning anger, he thought: 
"Ah, he is dreadfully angry. I will therefore go in 
person, will address him, and bring him back with all 
honor. For the proverb says: 

Shame no servant showing worth. 
Loyalty, and noble birth; 
Pet him ever like a son. 
If you wish your business done. 
And again : 

Masters, fully satisfied, 
Pay by gratifying pride; 
Servants, for such honor's pay. 
Gladly throw their lives away." 

Having reached this conclusion, he hastened to 
Garuda, who, beholding his master a visitor in his 
own house, modestly gazed on the ground, bowed low, 
and said: "O blessM one, the ocean, made insolent 
by his service as your resting-place, has stolen — be- 
hold! has stolen the eggs of my servant, and thus 
brought shame upon me. From reverence for the 
blessed one, I have delayed. But if nothing is done, 
I myself will this day reduce him to dry land. For the 
proverb says: 

A loyal servant dies, but shrinks 
From doing deeds of such a kind 

As bring contempt from common men 
And lower him in his master's mind." 

To this the blessed one replied: "O son of Vinata, 

your speech is justified. Because 

For servants' crimes the master should 
Be made to suffer, say the good. 


So long as he does not erase 
From service, cruel folk and base. 

"Come, then, so that we may recover the eggs 
from ocean, may satisfy the plover, and then proceed 
to the celestial city on the gods' business." To this 
Garuda agreed, and the blessed one reproached the 
ocean, then fitted the fire-arrow to his bow and said: 
"Villain, give the plover his eggs. Else, I will reduce 
you to dry land." 

On hearing this, the ocean, while all his train shook 
with fright, tremblingly took the eggs and restored 
them to the plover, as the blessM one directed. 

"And that is why I say: 

He loses fights who fights before 
His foeman's power is reckoned, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Now when Lively understood the matter, he 
asked Victor: "Tell me, comrade. What is his fight- 
ing technique?" And Victor answered: "Formerly 
he would lie carelessly on a slab of stone, with limbs 
relaxed. If today his tail is drawn in at the very first, 
if his four paws are bunched and his ears pricked up, 
and if he is watching for you while you are still far 
off, then you may understand that he has treachery 
in mind." 

Hereupon Victor visited Cheek, who asked: 
"What have you accomplished?" And he replied: "I 
have already set them at odds with each other." 


"Have you really done it?" said Cheek. And Victor 
answered: "The outcome will show you." "Indeed," 
said Cheek, "it is not surprising. For the proverb 

A well-devised estran^ng scheme 

The firmest pru3ence shocks, 
As constant floods of water split 
The mountains' close-piled rocks." 

Then Victor continued: "Having wrought an 
estrangement, a man should not fail to seek his own 
advantage in it. As the verse puts it: 

The man who studies every book 

And understands, yet does not look 

To his advantage, learns in vain; 

His books are merely mental strain." 

"But in the final analysis," said Cheek, "there is 

no such thing as personal advantage. For 

Since worms and filth and ashes cling. 
The body is a loathsome thing; 
What statecraft therefore may there be 
In hurting it vicariously?" 

"Ah," replied Victor, "you have no comprehension 
of the devious ways of statesmanship, the basic sup- 
port of the profession of counselor. On this point 
there is a verse: 

Let your speech like sugar be. 

Steel your heart remorselessly; 

Never draw a doubtful breath: 

Pay for suffered wrongs with death. 

And another thing. This Lively, even when killed, 
will provide us with nourishment. For you know. 


The wise who wrongs another. 

Pursuing selfish good, 
Should keep his plans a secret. 

As Smart did in the wood." 

"How was that?" asked Cheek. And Victor told 
the story of 


In a part of a forest lived a lion named Thunder- 
Fang, in company with three counselors, a wolf, a 
jackal, and -a camel, whose names were Meat-Face, 
Smart, and Spike-Ear. One day he fought with a 
furious elephant whose sharp-pointed tusk so tore his 
body that he withdrew from the world. 

Then, suffering from a seven-day fast, his body 
lean with hunger, he said to his famished advisers: 
"Round up some creature in the forest, so that, even 
in my present condition, I may provide needed 
nourishment for you." The moment he issued his 
orders, they roamed the wood, but found nothing. 

Thereupon Smart reflected: "If Spike-Ear here 

were killed, then we should all be nourished for a few 

days. However, the master is kept from killing him 

by friendly feeling. In spite of that, my wit will put 

the master in a frame of mind to kill him. For, indeed. 

All understanding may be won. 
All things be slain, and all be done, 
If mortals have sufficient wit; 
For me, I make good use of it." 

After these reflections, he said to Spike-Ear: 
"Friend Spike-Ear, the master lacks wholesome food. 


and is starving. If the master goes, our death is also 
a certain thing. So I have a suggestion for your bene- 
fit and the master's. Please pay attention." "My 
good fellow," said Spike-Ear, "make haste to inform 
me, so that I may unhesitatingly do as you say. Be- 
sides, one earns credit for a hundred good deeds by 
serving his master." 

And Smart said: "My good fellow, give your own 
body at 100 per cent interest, so that you may receive 
a double body, and the master may prolong his life." 
On hearing this proposal, Spike-Ear said: "If that is 
possible, my friend, my body shall be so devoted. Tell 
the master that this thing should be done. I stipulate 
only that the Death-God be requested to guarantee 
the bargain." 

Having made their decision, they all went to visit 
the lion, and Smart said: "O King, we did not find a 
thing today, and the blessM sun is already near his 
setting." On hearing this, the lion fell into deep de- 
spondency. Then Smart continued: "O King, our 
friend Spike-Ear makes this proposal: *If you call 
upon the Death-God to guarantee the bargain, and if 
you render it back with 100 per cent of interest, then 
I will give my body.' " "My good fellow," answered 
the lion, "yours is a beautiful act. Let it be as you 
say." On the basis of this pact, Spike-Ear was struck 
down by the lion's paw, his body was torn by the wolf 
and the jackal, and he died. 

Then Smart reflected: "How can I get him all to 


myself to eat?" With this thought in his mind, he 
noticed that the lion's body was smeared with blood> 
and he said: "Master, you must go to the river to 
bathe and worship the gods, while I stay here with 
Meat-Face to guard the food-supply." On hearing 
this, the lion went to the river. 

When the lion was gone. Smart said to Meat-Face: 
"Friend Meat-Face, you are starving. You might eat 
some of this camel before the old master returns. I 
will make your apologies to the master." So Meat- 
Face took the hint, but had only taken a taste when 
Smart cried: "Drop it, Meat-Face. The master is 

Presently the lion returned, saw that the camel 
was minus a heart, and wrathfully roared: "Look 
here! Who turned this camel into leavings? I wish 
to kill him, too." Then Meat-Face peered into 
Smart's \asage, as much as to say: "Come, now! Say 
something, so that he may calm down." But Smart 
laughed and said: "Come, come! You ate the camel's 
heart all by yourself. Why do you look at me?" And 
Meat-Face, hearing this, fled for his life, making for 
another country. But when the lion had pursued him 
a short distance, he turned back, thinking: "He, too, 
is unguipugnacious. I must not kill him." 

At this moment, as fate would have it, there came 
that way a great camel caravan, heavily laden, mak- 
ing a tremendous jingling with the bells tied to the 
camels' necks. And when the lion heard the jingle of 


the bells, loud even in the distance, he said to the 
jackal: "My good fellow, find out what this horrible 
noise may be." 

On receiving this commission. Smart advanced a 
little in the forest, then darted back, and cried in great 
excitement: "Run, master! Run, if you can run!" 

"My good fellow," said the lion, "why terrify me 
so? Tell me what it is." And Smart cried: "Master, 
the Death-God is coming, and he is in a rage against 
you because you brought untimely death upon his 
camel, and had him guarantee the bargain. He in- 
tends to make you pay a thousand fold for his camel. 
He has immense pride in his camels. He also plans to 
make inquiries about the father and grandfathers of 
that one. He is coming. He is near at hand." 

When the lion heard this, he, too, abandoned the 
dead camel and scampered for dear life. Whereupon 
Smart ate the camel bit by bit, so that the meat 
lasted a long time. 

"And that is why I say: 

The wise who wrongs another. 
Pursuing selfish good, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Now when Victor was gone. Lively reflected: 
"What am I to do? Suppose I go elsewhere, then 
some other merciless creature will kill me, for this is 
a wild wood. Indeed, when the master is furious, it 
is not possible even to depart. For the proverb says: 


Impunity comes not 

By fleeing far away: 
The long arms of the shrewd 

Make careless sinners pay. 

"My best course is to approach the lion. He 
might regard me as a suppliant, might even spare my 

Having thus set his mind in order, he started very 
slowly, with troubled spirit, and when he perceived 
the lion in the posture foretold by Victor, he sank 
down at some little distance, thinking: "Ah, the un- 
fathomable character of kings! As the proverb says: 

Tis a house with serpents crawling. 
Wood with beasts of prey appalling, 
Lotus-pond where blossoms smile 
O'er the lurking crocodile. 
Spot that sneaking rogues deface 
With repeated slanders base — 
Timid servant never learns 
Whither kingly purpose turns." 

Rusty for his part, perceiving the bull in the atti- 
tude predicted by Victor, made a sudden spring at 
him. And Lively, though his body was torn by sharp 
claws as formidable as thunderbolts, also scored the 
lion's belly with his horns, contrived to break away 
from him, and stood in fighting posture, ready to gore 

At this point Cheek perceived that both of them, 
red as dhak trees in blossom, were intent on killing 
each other, and he said reproachfully to Victor: "You 


dunderhead! In setting these two at enmity, you 
have done a wicked deed. You have brought trouble 
and confusion into this entire forest, thus proving 
your ignorance of the true nature of statecraft. For 
the saying runs: 

Those are counselors indeed, 
Wise in statecraft, who succeed 
In composing reckless strife 
That, unhindered, threatens life: 
Those on petty purpose bent. 
Keen to visit punishment. 
Quick in wrong and folly, bring 
Risk to kingdom and to king. 

Ah, poor fool! 

Men of true discernment, first 

Try conciliation; 
For the victories of peace 

Suffer no frustration. 

Ah, poor simpleton! You seek the post of counselor, 
and are ignorant of the very name of conciliation. 
Your ambition is vain, since you love harsh measures. 
As the proverb puts it: 

Lord Brahma bids the statesman try 

Conciliation first. 
Postpone or shun (it can be done) 

Harsh deeds, of all deeds worst. 

Tis neither sun nor flashing gem 

Nor fiery spark, 
Tis peace, from bitter foemen's hearts 

That routs the dark. 


And again: 

Tiy peaceful means, not harsh, to make 

Your quarrel flit; 
Take sugar, not cucumber, for 

A bilious fit. 

And once again: 

The doors that wit unlocks are three — 
Peace, shrewd intrigue, and bribery; 
The fourth device that brings success 
In struggle, is plain manliness. 

'Tis womanish, no doubt, to show 

Small strength, abundant sense; 
But power is merely bestial, if 

Without intelligence. 

Snake, lion, elephant, and fire, 

With water, wind, and sun. 
Have power. From undirected power 

Is little profit won. 

"Now if it was overweening pride in being the son 

of a counselor that has led you to outrage decency, the 

result will be merely your own ruin. As the proverb 


What is learning whose attaining 
Sees no passion wane, no reigning 

Love and self-control? 
Does not make the mind a menial, 
Fmds in virtue no congenial 

Path and final goal? 
Whose attaining is but straining 
For a name, and never gaining 

Fame or peace of soul? 


"Now in the treatises on the subject statesman- 
ship is subsumed under five heads, to wit: proper in> 
ception; resources, human and material; determina- 
tion of place and time; countermeasures for mis- 
chance; and successful accomplishment. At the pres- 
ent moment, the master finds himself in serious peril. 
So, if you have any such capacity, devise counter- 
measures for his mischance. For the wisdom of a 
counselor finds its test in the patching of friendship. 
Ah, you fool! That you cannot do, because you have 
a perverted mind. As the saying goes: 

No scamp can further others' work. 

But can deprave it: 
The mole uproots the mulberry, 

But cannot save it. 

"After all, the fault is not yours, but rather the 

master's, who trusts your words, dull-witted as you 

are. And the proverb says: 

Educating sluggish wit 
Kills no pride but fosters it: 
In the sunlight others find 
Aid to vision; owls go blind. 

Education thrusts aside 
Man's fatuity and pride; 
If it foster them, who can 
Cure the educated man ? 
Remedies are useless when 
Heaven's nectar poisons men." 

And Cheek, beholding his master in pitiful plight, 
sank into deep dejection. "Dreadful," he cried. 


"dreadful is the penalty the master pays for taking 
evil counsel! Indeed, there is wisdom in the verse: 

Monarchs who adopt a plan 
From the mean and vicious man, 
Who refuse to tread the way 
That the prudent counsel — they 
Enter misadventure's cage 
Where the adversaries rage; 
Thence deliverance's gate 
Crowns an issue rugged, strait. 

"Fool! Fool! All the world seeks the service of a 
master whose retinue is righteous. How, then, can 
such an evil counselor as you, who, like a beast, under- 
stand nothing but destruction — how can such a one 
enrich the master with righteous companions? For 
the proverb says: 

Monarchs, ill-advised, repel. 
Even though they purpose well: 
Sweet and placid waters smile. 
But beware the crocodile. 

"Yet you, I suppose, seeking your own advantage, 
desire to have the king quite solitary. Ah, fool! Are 
you ignorant of the verse? 

Kings shine as social beings, not 

As solitaries; 
Whoever wish them lonely are 

Their adversaries. 
And again: 

Draw benefit from comments harsh; 

No poison, this: 
In flattery see treason, not 

True nectar's bliss. 


"And if you are grieved at seeing others happy 
and prosperous, that, too, is wicked. It is wrong to 
proceed thus when friends have fulfilled their nature. 

Those who seek, through treason, friends; 

Seek, through humbug, righteous ends; 

Property by wronging neighbors; 

Learning's wealth by easy labors; 

Woman's love by cruel pride — 

These are fools, self-stultified. 


The happiness of subjects makes 

The monarch gay and brave: 
Nay, what would be the dancing sea 

With no gem-flashing wave? 

"Furthermore, for one who has enjoyed the mas- 
ter's favor, modesty is peculiarly proper. As the verse 

puts it: 

According to his favored state, 
A servant's modest, humble gait 
Is notably appropriate. 

"Your character, however, is marked by levity. 

And the proverb says: 

The great are firm, though battered, as before; 
Great ocean is not fouled by caving shore: 
For petty cause the fickle change and pass; 
The gentlest breezes ruffle pliant grass. 

"When all is said, it is the master's fault. For in 
pursuit of virtue, money, and love, he recklessly takes 
counsel with one like you — one who lives by the mere 
pretense of administrative competence, in total ignor- 


ance of the six expedients and the four devices for 
attaining success. Yes, there is wisdom in this: 

If kings are satisfied 
With servants at their side 
Who ply a wheedling tongue, 
Whose bows are never strung, 
Then kingly glory goes 
Embracing manlier foes. 

"Indeed, there is much sense in the story which is 
summed up in the familiar verse: 

The counselor whose name was Strong 
Attained his dearest heart's desire: 

He won the favor of his king; 
He burned the naked monk with fire." 

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Cheek told 
the story of 


In the Koshala country is a city called Unassail- 
able. In it ruled a king named Fine-Chariot, over 
whose footstool rippled rays of light from the dia- 
dems of uncounted vassal princes. 

One day a forest ranger came with this report: 
"Master, all the forest kings have become turbulent, 
and in their midst is the forest chief named Vindhyaka. 
It is the king's affair to teach him modest manners." 
On hearing this report, the king summoned Counselor 
Strong, and despatched him with orders to chastise 
the forest chieftains. 


Now in the absence of the counselor, a naked 
monk arrived in the city at the end of the hot season. 
He was master of the astronomical specialties, such as 
problems and etymologies, rising of the zodiacal signs, 
augury, ecliptic intersection, and the decanate; also 
stellar mansions divided into nine parts, twelve parts, 
thirty parts; the shadow of the gnomon, eclipses, and 
numerous other mysteries. With these the fellow in 
a few days won the entire population, as if he had 
bought and paid for them. 

Finally, as the matter went from mouth to mouth, 
the king heard a report of its character, and had the 
curiosity to summon the monk to his palace. There 
he offered him a seat and asked: "Is it true. Professor, 
as they say, that you read the thoughts of others?" 
"That will be demonstrated in the sequel," replied the 
monk, and by discourses adapted to the occasion he 
brought the poor king to the extreme pitch of curi- 

One day he failed to appear at the r^ular hour, 
but the following day, on entering the palace, he an- 
nounced: "O King, I bring you the best of good tid- 
ings. At dawn today I flung this body aside within 
my cell, assumed a body fit for the world of the gods, 
and, inspired with the knowledge that all the im- 
mortals thought of me with longing, I went to heaven 
and have just returned. While there, I was requested 
by the gods to inquire in their name after the king's 


When he heard this, the king said, his extreme 
curiosity begetting a feeling of amazement: "What, 
Professor! You go to heaven?" "O mighty King," re- 
plied the fellow, "I go to heaven every day." This the 
king believed — poor dullard! — so that he grew negli- 
gent of all royal business and all duties toward the 
ladies, concentrating his attention on the monk. 

While matters were in this state. Strong entered 
the king's presence, after settling all disturbances in 
the forest domain. He found the master wholly in- 
different to every one of his counselors, withdrawn in 
private conference with that naked monk, discussing 
what seemed to be some miraculous occurrence, his 
lotus-face ablossom. And on learning the facts. 
Strong bowed low and said: "Victory, O King! May 
the gods give you wit!" 

Thereupon the king inquired concerning the 
counselor's health, and said: "Sir, do you know this 
professor?" To which the counselor replied: "How 
could there be ignorance of one who is lord and 
creator of a whole school of professors? Moreover, I 
have heard that this professor goes to heaven. Is it 
a fact?" "Everything that you have heard," an- 
swered the king, "is beyond the shadow of doubt." 

Thereupon the monk said: "If this counselor feels 
any curiosity, he may see for himself." With this he 
entered his cell, barred the door from within, and 
waited there. After the lapse of a mere moment, the 
counselor spoke: "O King," he said, "how soon will 


he return?" And the king replied: "Why this im- 
patience? You must know that he leaves his lifeless 
body within this cell, and returns with another, a 
heavenly body." 

"If this is indeed the case," said Strong, "then 
bring a great quantity of firewood, so that I may set 
fire to this cell." "For what purpose ?" asked the king. 
And the counselor continued: "So that, when this 
lifeless body has been burned, the gentleman may 
stand before the king in that other body which visits 
heaven. In this connection I will tell you the story of 


In Palace City lived a Brahman named Godly, 
whose childless wife wept bitterly when she saw the 
neighbors' youngsters. But one day the Brahman 
said: "Forget your sorrow, mother dear. See! When 
I was offering the sacrifice for birth of children, an 
invisible being said to me in the clearest words: 
'Brahman, you shall have a son surpassing all man- 
kind in beauty, character, and charm.' " 

When she heard this, the wife felt her heart swell 
with supreme delight. "I only hope his promises come 
true," she said. Presently she conceived, and in 
course of time gave birth to a snake. When she saw 
him, she paid no attention to her companions, who 
all advised her to throw him away. Instead, she took 
him and bathed him, laid him with motherly tender- 
ness in a large, clean box, and pampered him with 


milk, fresh butter, and other good things, so that be- 
fore many days had passed, he grew to maturity. 

But one day the Brahman's wife was watching the 
marriage festival of a neighbor's son, and the tears 
streamed down her face as she said to her husband: 
"I know that you despise me, because you do nothing 
. about a marriage festival for my boy." "My good 
wife," answered he, "am I to go to the depths of the 
underworld and beseech Vasuki the serpent-king? 
Who else, you foolish woman, would give his own 
daughter to this snake?" 

But when he had spoken, he was disturbed at see- 
ing the utter woe in his wfe's countenance. He there- 
fore packed provisions for a long journey, and under- 
took foreign travel from love of his wife. In the course 
of some months he arrived at a spot called Kutkuta 
City in a distant land. There in the house of a kins- 
man whom he could visit vrith pleasure since each re- 
spected the other's character, he was hospitably re- 
ceived, was given a bath, food, and the like, and there 
he spent the night. 

Now at dawn, when he paid his respects to his 
Brahman host and made ready to depart, the other 
asked him: "What was your purpose in coming 
hither? And where will your errand lead you?" 

To this he replied: "I have come in search of a 
fit wife for my son." "In that case," said his host, "I 
have a very beautiful daughter, and my own person 
is yours to command. Pray take her for your son." 


So the Brahman took the girl with her attendants and 
returned to his own place. 

But when the people of the country beheld her in- 
comparable opulence of beauty, her supreme loveli- 
ness and superhuman graces, their eyes popped out 
with pleasure, and they said to her attendants: 
"How can right-thinking persons bestow such a pearl 
of a girl upon a snake?" On hearing this, all her elder- 
ly relatives without exception were troubled at heart, 
and they said: "Let her be taken from this imp- 
ridden creature." But the girl said: "No more of this 
mockery! Remember the text: 

Do once, once only, these three things: 
Once spoken, stands the word of kings; 
The speech of saints has no miscarriage; 
A maid is given once in marriage. 

And again: 

All fated happenings, derived 

From any former state, 
Must changeless stand: the very gods 

Endured poor Blossom's fate." 

Whereupon they all asked in chorus: "Who was 
this Blossom person?" And the girl told the story of 

' God Indra once had a parrot named Blossom. He 
enjoyed supreme beauty, loveliness, and various 
graces, while his intelligence was not blunted by his 
extensive scientific attainments. 

One day he was resting on the palm of great 


Indra's hand, his body thrilling with delight at that 
contact, and was reciting a variety of authoritative 
formulas, when he caught sight of Yama, lord of 
death, who had come to pay his respects at the time 
appointed. Seeing the god, the parrot edged away. 
And all the thronging immortals asked him: "Why 
did you move away, sir, upon beholding that person- 
age?" "But," said the parrot, "he brings harm to all 
living creatures. Why not move away from him?" 

Upon hearing this, they all desired to calm his 
fears, so said to Yama: "As a favor to us, you must 
please not kill this parrot." And Yama replied: "I 
do not know about that. It is Time who determines 
these matters." 

They therefore took Blossom with them, paid a 
visit to Time, and made the same request. To which 
Time repUed: "It is Death who is posted in these 
affairs. Pray speak to him." 

But when they did so, the parrot died at the mere 
sight of Death. And they were all distressed at seeing 
the occurrence, so that they said to Yama: "What 
does this mean?" And Yama said: "It was simply 
fated that he should die at the mere sight of Death." 
With this reply they went back to heaven. 

"And that is why I say: 

All fated happenings, .... 

and the rest of it. Furthermore, I do not wish my 
father reproached for double dealing on the part of 


his daughter." When she had said this, she married 
the snake, with the permission of her companions, 
and at once began devoted attendance upon him by 
offering milk to drink and performing other services. 

One night the serpent issued from the generous 
chest which had been set for him in her chamber, 
and entered her bed. "Who is this.?" she cried. "He 
has the form of a man." And thinking him a strange 
man, she started up, trembling in every limb, un- 
locked the door, and was about to dart away when 
she heard him say: "Stay, my dear wife. I am your 
husband." Then, in order to convince her, he re- 
entered the body which he had left behind in the 
chest, issued from it again, and came to her. 

When she beheld him flashing with lofty diadem, 
with earrings, bracelets, armbands, and rings, she fell 
at his feet, and then they sank into a glad embrace. 

Now his father, the Brahman, rose betimes and 
discovered how matters stood. He therefore seized the 
serpent's skin that lay in the chest, and consumed it 
with fire, for he thought: "I do not want him to enter 
that again." And in the morning he and his wife, with 
the greatest possible joy, introduced to everybody as 
their own an extraordinarily handsome son, quite 
wrapped up in his love affair. 

After Strong had related this parallel case to the 
king, he set fire to the cell that contained the naked 


"And that is why I say: 

The counselor whose name was Strong, .... 

and the rest of it. Poor fool ! Such men are true coun- 
selors, not creatures like you, who make a living by a 
mere pretense of administrative competence, though 
quite ignorant of the ways of statecraft. Your evil 
conduct demonstrates an inherited lack of executive 
capacity. Surely, your father before you was the 
same kind of person. For 

The character of sons 

The father e'er reflects: 
Who, from a screw-pine tree. 

An emblic fruit expects? 

"While in men of learning and native dignity, an 

inner weakness is not detected even with the lapse 

of time. It remains hidden, unless of their own accord 

they cast dignity aside and display what is vulnerable 

in their minds. For 

Did not the silly peacock wheel 
In giddy dance at thunder's peal. 
What peering effort could reveal 
His nakedness? 

"Since, then, you are a villain, good advice is 
thrown away upon you. As the saying goes: 

No knife prevails against a stone; 

Nor bends the unbending tree; 
No good advice from Needle-Face 

Helped indocility." 

"How was that?" asked \^ctor. And Cheek told 
the story of 



In a part of a forest was a troop of monkeys who 
found a firefly one winter evening when they were 
dreadfully depressed. On examining the insect, they 
believed it to be fire, so lifted it with care, covered it 
with dry grass and leaves, thrust forward their arms, 
sides, stomachs, and chests, scratched themselves, 
and enjoyed imagining that they were warm. One of 
the arboreal creatures in particular, being especially 
chilly, blew repeatedly and with concentrated atten- 
tion on the firefly. 

Thereupon a bird named Needle-Face, driven by 
hostile fate to her own destruction, flew down from 
her tree and said to the monkey: "My dear sir, do 
not put yourself to unnecessary trouble. This is not 
fire. This is a firefly." He, however, did not heed her 
warning but blew again, nor did he stop when she 
tried more than once to check him. To cut a long 
story short, when she vexed him by coming close and 
shouting in his ear, he seized her and dashed her on a 
rock, crushing face, eyes, head, and neck so that she 

"And that is why I say: 

No knife prevails against a stone; .... 

and the rest of it. For, after all. 
Educating minds unfit 
Cannot rescue sluggish wit. 
Just as house-lamps wasted are. 
Set within a covered jar. 


"Plainly, you are what is known as 'worse-born.' 

The technical explanation runs: 

Sons of four divergent kinds 
Are discerned by well-trained minds: 
'Born,' and 'like-born,' 'better-born'; 
Lastly, 'worse-born' has their scorn. 

'Born' the mother's image gives; 
'Like-born' like the father lives; 
'Better-born' more nobly acts; 
'Worse-born' morally subtracts. 

"Ah, there is wisdom in the saying: 

By whom far-piercing wisdom or 

Great wealth or power is won 
To lift the family, in him 

A mother has a son. 

A merely striking beauty 

Is not so hard to find; 
A rarer gem is wisdom, 

Far-reaching power of mind. 

"Yes, there is sense in the story: 

Right-Mind was one, and Wrong-Mind two; 

I know the tale by heart: 
The son in smoke made father choke 

By being supersmart." 

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Cheek told 
the story of 


In a certain city lived two friends, sons of mer- 
chants, and their names were Right-Mind and 


Wrong-Mind. These two traveled to another country 
far away in order to earn money. There the one 
named Right-Mind, as a consequence of favoring 
fortune, found a pot containing a thousand dinars, 
which had been hidden long before by a holy man. He 
debated the matter with Wrong-Mind, and they de- 
cided to go home, since their object was attained. So 
they returned together. 

When they drew near their native city, Right- 
Mind said: "My good friend, a half of this falls to 
your share. Pray take it, so that, now that we are at 
home, we may cut a brilliant figure before our 
friends and those less friendly." 

But Wrong-Mind, with a sneaking thought of his 
own advantage, said to the other: "My good friend, 
so long as we two hold this treasure in common, so 
long will our virtuous friendship suffer no interrup- 
tion. Let us each take a hundred dinars, and go to 
our homes after burying the remainder. The decrease 
or increase of this treasure will serve as a test of our 

Now Right-Mind, in the nobility of his nature, did 
not comprehend the hidden duplicity of his friend, 
and agreed to the proposal. Each then took a certain 
sum of money. They carefully hid the residue in the 
ground, and made their entrance into the city. 

Before long, Wrong-Mind exhausted his prelimi- 
nary portion because he practiced the vice of unwise 
expenditure and because his predetermined fate of- 


fered vulnerable points. He therefore made a second 
division with Right-Mind, each taking a second 
hundred. Within a year this, too, had slipped in the 
same way through Wrong-Mind's fingers. As a re- 
sult, his thoughts took this form: "Suppose I divide 
another two hundred with him, then what is the good 
of the remainder, a paltry four hundred, even if I steal 
it? I think I prefer to steal a round six hundred." 
After this meditation, he went alone, removed the 
treasure, and leveled the ground. 

A mere month later, he took the initiative, going 
to Right-Mind and saying: "My good friend, let us 
divide the rest of the money equally." So he and 
Right-Mind visited the spot and began to dig. When 
the excavation failed to reveal any treasure, that im- 
pudent Wrong-Mind first of all smote his own head 
with the empty pot, then shouted: "What became of 
that good lucre? Surely, Right-Mind, you must have 
stolen it. Give me my half. If you don't, I will bring 
you into court." 

"Be silent, villain!" said the other. "My name is 

Right-Mind. Such thefts are not in my line. You 

know the verse: 

A man right-minded sees but trash, 
Mere clods of earth, in others' cash; 
A mother in his neighbor's wife; 
In all that lives, his own dear life." 

So together they carried their dispute to court and 
related the theft of the money. And when the magis- 


trates learned the facts, they decreed an ordeal for 
each. But Wrong-Mind said: "Come! This judg- 
ment is not proper. For the legal dictum runs: 

Best evidence is written word; 
Next, witnesses who saw and heard; 
Then only let ordeals prevail 
When witnesses completely fail. 

In the present case, I have a witness, the goddess of 
the wood. She will reveal to you which one of us is 
guilty, which not guilty. And they replied: "You are 
quite right, sir. For there is a further saying: 

To meanest witnesses, ordeals 

Should never be preferred; 
Of course much less, if you possess 

A forest goddess' word. 

Now we also feel a great interest in the case. You two 
must accompany us tomorrow morning to that part 
of the forest." With this they accepted bail from each 
and sent them home. 

Then Wrong-Mind went home and asked his 
father's help. "Father dear," said he, "the dinars are 
in my hand. They only require one little word from 
you. This very night I am going to hide you out of 
sight in a hole in the mimosa tree that grows near 
the spot where I dug out the treasure before. In the 
morning you must be my witness in the presence of 
the magistrates." 

"Oh, my son," said the father, "we are both lost. 


This is no kind of a scheme. There is wisdom in the 
old story: 

The good and bad of given schemes 

Wise thought must first reveal: 
The stupid heron saw his chicks 
Provide a mungoose meal." 

"How was that?" asked Wrong-Mind. And his 
father told the story of 


A flock of herons once had their nests on a fig tree 
in a part of a forest. In a hole in the tree lived a black 
snake who made a practice of eating the heron chicks 
before their wings sprouted. 

At last one heron, in utter woe at seeing the young 
ones eaten by a snake, went to the shore of the pond, 
shed a flood of tears, and stood with downcast face. 
And a crab who noticed him in this attitude, said: 
"Uncle, why are you so tearful today?" "My good 
friend," said the heron, "what am I to do? Fate is 
against me. My babies and the youngsters belonging 
to my relatives have been eaten by a snake that lives 
in a hole in the fig tree. Grieved at their grief, I weep. 
Tell me, is there any possible device for killing him ?" 

On hearing this, the crab reflected: "After all, he 
is a natural-born enemy of my race. I will give him 
such adA^ice — a kind of true lie — that other herons 
may also perish. For the proverb says: 

Let your speech like butter be; 
Steel your heart remorselessly: 


Stir an enemy to action 

That destroys him with his faction." 

And he said aloud: "Uncle, conditions being as 
they are, scatter bits of fish all the way from the 
mungoose burrow to the snake's hole. The mungoose 
will follow that trail and will destroy the villainous 

When this had been done, the mungoose followed 
the bits of fish, killed the villainous snake, and also 
ate at his leisure all the herons who made their home 
in the tree. 

"And that is why I say: 

The good and bad of given schemes, .... 

and the rest of it." 

But Wrong-Mind disdained the paternal warn- 
ing, and during the night he hid his father out of sight 
in the hole in the tree. When morning came, the 
scamp took a bath, put on clean garments, and fol- 
lowed Right-Mind and the magistrates to the mimosa 
tree, where he cried in piercing tones: 

"Earth, heaven, and death, the feeling mind. 
Sun, moon, and water, fire and wind. 
Both twilights, justice, day and night 
Discern man's conduct, wrong or right. 

O blessM goddess of the wood, which of us two is the 
thief? Speak." 

Then Wrong-Mind's father spoke from his hole 
in the mimosa: "Gentlemen, Right-Mind took that 


money." And when all the king's men heard this 
statement, their eyes blossomed with astonishment, 
and they searched their minds to discover the ap- 
propriate legal penalty for stealing money, in order 
to visit it on Right-Mind. 

Meanwhile Right-Mind heaped inflammable mat- 
ter about the hole in the mimosa and set fire to it. 
As the mimosa burned, Wrong-Mind's father issued 
from the hole with a pitiful wail, his body scorched 
and his eyes popping out. And they all asked: "Why, 
sir! What does this mean?" 

"It is all Wrong-Mind's doing," he replied. 
Whereupon the king's men hanged Wrong-Mind to a 
branch of the mimosa, while they commended Right- 
Mind and caused him satisfaction by conferring upon 
him the king's favor and other things. 

"And that is why I say: 

Right-mind was one, and Wrong-mind two, .... 

and the rest of it." 

After telling the story, Cheek continued: "Poor 
fool! By your oversubtle wisdom you have burned 
your own family. Yes, there is wisdom in the saying: 

Rivers find their ending 

In the salty sea; 
Household peace, as soon as 

Women disagree; 
Secrets end that do not 

Every traitor shun; 
Families are ended 

In a wicked son. 


"Besides, who can trust a creature, whether 
human or not, that has two tongues in a single mouth? 
As the proverb says: 

Mouths of snake and scamp 
Bear a savage stamp; 
Rough and ruthless still. 
Only good for ill: 
Where the tongue is double. 
You may look for trouble. 

"Consequently, your conduct makes me fearful for 
my own person. For 

I would not trust a rascal; 

His ways I understand: 
The petted, pampered serpent 

Will bite the feeding hand. 


A fire will burn, though kindled 

In fragrant sandalwood: 
A rascal is a rascal. 

Although his birth is good. 

"After all, this is the very nature of rascals. As 
the proverb says: 

Each self-advertising traitor. 
Skilful as calumniator. 
Fate condemns to ruin all 
Who within his clutches fall. 

Oh, any tongue in human mouth 
That lends itself to slander's cant 

Yet does not split a hundred times. 
Is surely made of adamant. 


Oh, may no evil e'er befall 
The lion-man who loves his kind. 

Who practices a silent vow 
When others' faults are in his mind. 

"Ah, one must use great circumspection in making 
acquaintances. As the proverb says: 

With the shrewd and upright man 

Seek a friendship rare; 
Exercise with shrewd and false 

Superheedful care; 
Pity for the upright fool 

Find within your heart; 
If a man be fool and false, 

Shun him from the start. 

"Yes, your efforts have tended to the destruction 
not only of your own family, but, toward the last, of 
the master too. Since you reduce your own master to 
this state, other persons mean no more to you than 
withered grass. As the saying goes: 

Where mice eat balance-beams of iron 

A thousand pals in weight, 
A hawk might steal an elephant; 

A boy is trifling freight." 

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Cheek told 
the story of 


In a certain town lived a merchant named Naduk, 
who lost his money and determined to travel abroad. 

The meanest of mankind is he 
Who, having lost his money, can 


Inhabit lands or towns where once 
He spent it like a gentleman. 

And again: 

The neighbor gossips blame 
His poverty as shame 
Who long was wont to play 
'' Among them, proud and gay. 

In his house was an iron balance-beam inherited 
from his ancestors, and it weighed a thousand pals. 
This he put in pawn with Merchant Lakshman before 
he departed for foreign countries. 

Now after he had long traveled wherever business 
led him through foreign lands, he returned to his na- 
tive city and said to Merchant Lakshman: "Friend 
Lakshman, return my deposit, the balance-beam." 
And Lakshman said: "Friend Naduk, your balance- 
beam has been eaten by mice." 

To this Naduk replied: "Lakshman, you are in 
no way to blame, if it has been eaten by mice. Such 
is life. Nothing in the universe has any permanence. 
However, I am going to the river for a bath. Please 
send your boy Money-God with me, to carry my 
bathing things." 

Since Lakshman was conscience-stricken at his 
own theft, he said to his son Money-God: "My dear 
boy, let me introduce Uncle Naduk, who is going to 
the river to bathe. You must go with him and carry 
his bathing things." Ah, there is too much truth in 
the saying: 


There is no purely loving deed 
Without a pinch of fear or greed 
Or service of a selfish need. 

And again: 

Wherever there is fond attention 
That does not seek a service pension. 
Was there no timid apprehension? 

So Lakshman's son took the bathing things and 
delightedly accompanied Naduk to the river. After 
Naduk had taken his bath, he thrust Lakshman's son 
Money-God into a mountain cave, blocked the en- 
trance with a great rock, and returned to Lakshman's 
house. And when Lakshman said: "Friend Naduk, 
tell me what has become of my son Money-God who 
went with you," Naduk answered: "My good Laksh- 
man, a hawk carried him off from the river-bank." 

"Oh, Naduk!" cried Lakshman. "You liar! How 
could a hawk possibly carry off a big boy like Money- 
God?" "But, Lakshman," retorted Naduk, "the 
mice could eat a balance-beam made of iron. Give me 
my balance-beam, if you want your son." 

Finally, they carried their dispute to the palace 
gate, where Lakshman cried in a piercing tone: 
"Help! Help! A ghastly deed! This Naduk person 
has carried off my son — his name is Money-God." 

Thereupon the magistrates said to Naduk: "Sir, 
restore the boy to Lakshman." But Naduk pleaded: 
"What am I to do? Before my eyes a hawk carried 
him from the river-bank." "Come, Naduk!" said 


they, "you are not telling the truth. How can a hawk 
carry off a fifteen-year-old boy?" Then Naduk 
laughed outright and said: "Gentlemen, listen to my 

Where mice eat balance-beams of iron 

A thousand pals in weight, 
A hawk might steal an elephant; 
A boy is trifling freight." 

"How was that?" they asked, and Naduk told 
them the story of the balance-beam. At this they 
laughed and caused the restoration of balance-beam 
and boy to the respective owners. 

"And that is why I say: 

Where mice eat balance-beams of iron, .... 

and the rest of it." And Cheek continued: "Dunder- 
head! You have done this because you could not 
cheerfully see Rusty's favor bestowed on Lively. Yes, 
yes, there is wisdom in the saying: 

Cowards reproach the hero here on earth; 
Base-born rascals blame the man of birth; 
Misers, him who gives whate'er he can; 
Misfit lovers blame the ladies' man; 
Rogues, the righteous; cripples blame the straight; 
Those unlucky blame the fortunate; 
Last, the scholar — 'tis the wretched rule — 
Listens to reproaches from the fool. 


LearnM men from fools have hate; 
Rich, from those less fortunate; 


Men of virtue, from the vicious; 
Wives, from creatures meretricious. 

Yet, after all: 

Wise men, even, carry through 
What their nature bids them do: 
Nature ever will direct; 
What can punishment effect? 

"Instruction has value only for him who grasps 
what has been said once. But you are like a stone — 
brainless, immovable. Why waste effort to instruct 
you? More than that, O fool! it is a mistake even to 
live beside you. A disaster might some day befall me 
from mere association with you. As the proverb says: 

To live beside a dunderhead 

In house or village, town or nation. 

Is evil pure and simple, though 
One may escape all litigation. 

Better plunge in sea or fire. 

Hell or deepest pit. 
Than associate with one 

Quite devoid of wit. 

With the bad or good consort. 

Vice or virtue clings; 
Just as when the breezes in 

Distant wanderings 
Carry odors foul or sweet 

On their restless wings. 

"Indeed, there is wisdom in the old story: 

Two birds were we. I and the other 
One father had; we had one mother. 


But I was taught by hermits, while 
Beef-eaters gave him training vile. 
Beef-eaters' speech, O King, he heard; 
I listened to the hermits' word. 
Our education, good and bad. 
The obvious consequences had." 

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Cheek told 
the story of 


On a part of a mountain a hen-parrot brought 
two chicks into the world. These chicks were caught 
by a hunter when the mother had left the nest to 
search for food. One of them — since fate decreed it — 
contrived to escape, while the other was kept in a 
cage and taught to speak. Meanwhile, the first chick 
encountered a wandering holy man, who caught him, 
took him to his own hermitage, and gave him kindly 

While time was passing in this manner, a certain 
king, whose horse ran away and separated him from 
his guard, came to that part of the forest where the 
hunters lived. The moment he perceived the king's 
approach, the parrot straightway began to chuckle 
from his cage: "Come, come, my masters! Here 
comes somebody riding a horse. Bind him, bind him ! 
Kill him, kill him!" And when the king heard the 
parrot's words, he quickly spurred his horse in an- 
other direction. 

Now when the king came to another wood far 


away, he saw a hermitage of holy men, and in it a 
parrot who addressed him from a cage: "Enter, O 
King, and find repose. Taste our cool water and our 
sweet fruit. Come, hermits! Pay him honor. Give 
him water to wash his feet in the cool shade of this 

When he heard this, the king's eyes blossomed 
wide, and he wonderingly pondered what it might 
mean. And he said to the parrot: "In another part 
of the forest I met another parrot who looked like 
you, but who had a cruel disposition. 'Bind him, bind 
him!' he cried; 'kill him, kill him!' " And the parrot 
replied to the king by giving a precise relation of the 
course of his life. 

"And that is why I say: 

Our education, good and bad. 
The obvious consequences had. 

Thus mere association with you is an evil. As the 
proverb says: 

To foes of sense, not foolish friends, 

'Tis wiser far to cling: 
The robber for his victims died; 

The monkey killed the king." 

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Cheek told 
two stories, called 


There was once a prince who made friends with a 
merchant's son and the son of a man of learning. 


Every day the three found entertainment in various 
diversions, flirtations, and pastimes in public squares, 
parks, and gardens. Every day the prince showed his 
aversion to the science of archery, to equitation and 
elephant-riding, to driving and hunting. At last, 
when his father one day gave him a wigging, telling 
him that he showed no aptitude for kingly pursuits, he 
disclosed to his two friends the injury inflicted on his 

And they rejoined: "Our fathers, too, are con- 
tinually talking nonsense when we show our aversion 
to their business. This tribulation, however, we have 
not noticed for many days because of the pleasure we 
took in your friendship. But now that we see you also 
grieved with the same grief, we are grieved exceed- 

Thereupon the prince said: "It would be unmanly 
to remain here after being insulted. Let us depart to- 
gether, all grieved with the same grief, and go some- 
where else. For 

The truly self-respecting man 
Discovers what he is, and can, 
Deserves, and dares, and understands 
By traveling in foreign lands." 

So much being determined, they considered where 
it was advisable to go. And the merchant's son said: 
"You know that no desire is anywhere attained with- 
out money. Let us therefore go to Climbing Moun- 
tain, where we may find precious gems and enjoy 


every heart's desire." The truth of this presentation 
they all recognized, so started for Climbing Moun- 

There, as fate decreed, each of them found a 
priceless, magnificent gem, whereupon they debated 
as follows: "How are we to guard these gems when 
we leave this spot by a forest trail thick with peril?" 
Then the son of the man of learning said: "You know 
I am the son of a counselor, and I have consequently 
thought out an appropriate plan, namely, that we 
swallow our gems and carry them in our stomachs. 
Thus we shall not be an object of interest to mer- 
chants, highwaymen, and other such people." 

Having adopted this plan, each inserted his gem. 
in a mouthful of food at dinner time, and swallowed 
it. But while they were doing so, a fellow who was 
resting unperceived on the mountain slope, observed 
them and reflected: "Look here! I, too, have tramped 
Climbing Mountain for many days, searching for 
gems. But I had no luck. I found nothing. So I will 
travel with them and wherever they grow weary and 
go to sleep, I will cut their storhachs open and take 
all three gems." 

With this in mind, he came down the slope and 
overtook them, saying: "Good masters, I cannot 
pierce the frightful forest alone and reach my home. 
Let me join your caravan and travel with you." To 
this they assented, for they desired the increase of 
friendliness, and the four continued their journey. 


Now in that forest, near the trail, was a Bhil vil- 
lage, nestling in a rugged bit of jungle. As the travel- 
ers passed through its outskirts, an old bird in a 
cage began to sing — this bird belonging to a numer- 
ous aviary kept as pets in the hut of the village 

This chief understood the meaning that all kinds 
of birds express in their song. He therefore compre- 
hended the old bird's intention, and cried with great 
delight to his men : "Listen to what this bird tells us. 
He says that there are precious gems in the possession 
of yonder travelers on the trail, and that we ought to 
stop them. Catch them, and bring them here." 

When the robbers had done so, the chief stripped 
the travelers with his own hand, but found nothing. 
So he set them free to resume their journey, clad in 
loincloths only. But the bird sang the same story, so 
that the village chief had them brought back, and 
freed them only after a most particular and minute 

Once more they started, but when the bird im- 
patiently screamed the same song, the chief recalled 
them once more and questioned them, saying: "I 
have tested this bird time and again, and he never 
tells a lie. Now he says there are gems in your pos- 
session. Where are they?" And they replied: "If 
there are gems in our possession, how did your most 
careful search fail to reveal them?" 

But the chief retorted: "If this bird says the thing 


over and over, the gems are certainly there, in your 
stomachs. It is now evening. At dawn I am deter- 
mined to cut your stomachs open for gems." After 
this scolding, he had them thrust into a dungeon. 

Then the captive thief reflected: "In the morn- 
ing, when their stomachs are cut open and the chief 
finds such splendid gems, the greedy villain will be 
quite certain to slash my belly too. So my death is a 
certainty, whatever happens. What am I to do? 
Well, the proverb says: 

When that last hour arrives, that none. 

However shrewd, may miss, 
A noble spirit serves his kind. 

And death itself is bliss. 

It is best, then, to offer my own stomach first to the 
knife, saving the very men I had planned to kill. For 
when my stomach is cut open first of all and that 
villain finds nothing, grub as he may, then he will 
cease to suspect the existence of gems and, heartless 
though he be, will yet have mercy enough to re- 
nounce the cutting of the stomachs of those others. 
Thus, by giving them life and wealth I shall gain the 
glory of a generous deed in this world, and a rebirth 
in purity hereafter. This is, so to speak, a wise man's 
death, though I did not seek the opportunity." And 
so the night passed. 

At dawn the village chief was preparing to cut 
open their stomachs when the thief clasped his hands 
and humbly entreated him. "I cannot," he said, "be- 


hold the cutting of the stomachs of these my brothers. 
Pray be gracious, and cut my stomach first." 

To this the chief mercifully agreed, but he found 
no sign of a gem in the stomach, cut as he would. 
Thereupon he penitently cried: "Woe, woe is me! 
Swelling with greed at the mere interpretation of a 
bird's song, I have done a ghastly deed. I infer that 
no more gems will be found in the other stomachs 
than in this." The three were therefore set free un- 
injured, and hastening through the forest, they 
reached a civilized spot. 

"And that is why I say: 

The robber for his victims died. 
Better the sensible enemy than 


In this spot they sold all three gems, the mer- 
chant's son serving as their agent. The considerable 
capital thus obtained he laid before the prince, who, 
having appointed the son of the man of learning his 
prime minister, planned to seize the kingdom of the 
monarch of that country, and made the merchant's 
son his secretary of the treasury. He then, by offer- 
ing double pay, assembled an army of picked ele- 
phants, horse, and infantry, began hostilities with a 
prime minister intelligent in the six expedients, killed 
the king in battle, seized his kingdom, and himself 
became king. Next he delegated all burdensome ad- 


ministrative functions to his two friends and con- 
sulted his ease in a life of graceful luxury. 

After a time, as he dallied now and then in the 
ladies' apartments, he made a pet and constant com- 
panion of a monkey from the stable near by. For it 
is a well-known fact that kings take naturally to 
parrots, partridges, pigeons, rams, monkeys, and such 
creatures. In course of time the monkey, regaled with 
a variety of dainties from the royal hand, grew to be 
a big fellow, and became an object of respect to the 
entire court. The king, indeed, felt such confidence 
in the monkey and such affection that he made him 
his personal sword-bearer. 

Now the king had near his palace a pleasure-grove 
made charming by clumps of trees of various species. 
When springtime came, he perceived how delightful 
was this grove, since it advertised the glory of Love in 
the humming of swarms of bees, and was fragrant 
with the perfumes of crowding blossoms. He there- 
fore entered it with his queen in a passion of love, and 
all his human retinue were left behind at the entrance. 

After a period of delighted wandering and gazing, 
the king grew weary and said to the monkey: "I shall 
rest and sleep a moment in this arbor. You must keep 
careful watch to prevent anyone from disturbing me." 
With this he went to sleep. 

Presently a bee, drawn by the fragrance of flowers, 
of musk, and other perfumes, hovered over him and 
alighted on his head. On seeing this, the monkey 


angrily thought: "What! Under my very eyes this 
wretched creature looks upon the king!" And he un- 
dertook to drive him away. 

But when the bee, for all his efforts, continued to 
approach the king, the monkey went blind with rage, 
drew his sword, and fetched a blow at the bee — a 
blow that split the king's head. 

And the queen, who was sleeping beside him, 
started up in terror, screaming when she beheld the 
incomprehensible fact: "You fool! You monkey! 
The king trusted you. How could you do it?" 

Then the monkey told what had happened, after 
which everybody, by common consent, scolded him 
and shunned him. 

"So there is reason in saying that one should not 
make friends with a fool, inasmuch as the monkey 
killed the king. Indeed, that is why I say: 

To foes of sense, not foolish friends, 

Tis wiser far to cling: 
The robber for his victims died; 

The monkey killed the king." 

And Cheek continued: 

"Where your sort have the final word. 
By whom friends' enmities are stirred. 
Whose wisdom lies in tricky traps. 
All efforts end in sad mishaps. 

And again: 

The saint, however deep his need. 
Still shuns the guilt of evil deed; 


Still does the deeds that bring no shame 
To honorable name and fame. 


The wise in need still does the deed 

That keeps his honor bright: 
The shell a peacock ate and dropped. 

Remains a pearly white. 

And the proverb says: 

Wrong is wrong; the wise man never 

Wrong as right will treat: 
None would drink, however thirsty. 

Water in the street. 

To sum it all up: 

Do the right, the right, the right, 

Till the breath of death; 
Shun the wrong, although the right 

Lead to death of breath." 

Hereupon, being a tortuous-minded creature to 
whom a sermon advocating such moral standards was 
sheer poison, Victor slunk away. 

At this moment Rusty and Lively, their minds 

blinded by rage, renewed the battle. But when Rusty 

had killed Lively, his wrath subsided into pity at the 

memory of past affection. He wiped his weeping eyes 

with a blood-smeared paw and penitently said: "Ah, 

me! It was very wrong. Lively was almost my second 

life. In killing him, I have only hurt myself. For the 

proverb says: 

When bits are lost of royal land 
Or servants true who understand. 


The servants' loss is deadly pain; 
Lost lands are quickly won again." 


But Victor, the impudent, perceiving that Rusty 
was mastered by irresolution, slowly crept near and 
said: "Master, what conduct is this — to show your- 
self irresolute after slaying a rival? For the saying 


None leaves a father, brother, son. 

Or bosom-friend alive 
Who treasonably threatens him, 

If he desires to thrive. 


A king compassionate, 

A careless magistrate, 

A wilful wife, a friend 

Whose thoughts to treason tend, 

A guzzling Brahman, or 

A sulky servitor. 

With all who do not know 

Their business — ^let them go. 

Go however far to find 

Honest joy; 
Learn from any who is wise. 

Though a boy; 
Give your life, the altruist's 

Bliss to win; 
Cut your very arm away. 

If it sin. 

"And the morality of kings has nothing in common 
with that of ordinary men. As the proverb says: 

To ruling monarchs let no trace 
Of common nature cling; 


For what is vice in other men, 
Is virtue in a king. 

And once more: 

Kings' policy is fickle, like 

A woman of the town: 
For now it hoards its money up. 

Now flings it careless down; 
Tis rough and flattering by turns; 

'Tis kind, and cruel too; 
Exacting much and giving much, 

At once 'tis false and true." 

Hereupon Cheek, since Victor did not return, drew 
near, sat down beside the lion, and said to Victor: 
"Sir, you know nothing of the business of administra- 
tion, since the stirring of strife means the destruction 
of those who had enjoyed mutual friendship. It is not 
the practice of genuine counselors, when objects of 
ambition are attainable through conciliation, bribery, 
or intrigue, to advise the master to fight his own 
servant, so bringing him into deadly danger. As the 
proverb says: 

The god of wealth, the god of war, 

The god of water, and 
The god of fire have planned to win, 

Then lost the fights they planned; 
For victory is not a thing 

That mea or gods command. 

And besides: 

No wisdom lies in fighting, since 
It is the fools who fight; 


The wise discover in wise books 
What course is wise and right. 

And wise books in the course that is 
Not violent, delight. 

"Therefore a counselor should under no circum- 
stances advise his master to fight. And there is 
another wise saying: 

Where the palace harbors servants 

Kindly, modest, pure, 
Death to enemies, and deaf to 

Avarice's lure. 
Foes may struggle, but the royal 

Honor is secure. 


Speak the truth, though harsh it be: 
Blarney is true enmity. 

And again: 

Where royal servants, asked or not. 

Indulge in pleasant lies 
That lead the royal mind astray. 
The royal glory dies. 

"Furthermore, counselors should be consulted 
severally by the master, who should thereupon make 
his own decision concerning the advice given by each, 
as tending to the king's loss or profit. For it happens 
at times that even an established fact seems other- 
wise to a wandering judgment. As the proverb says: 

The firefly seems a fire, the sky looks flat; 
Yet sky and fly are neither this nor that. 


And again: 

The true seem often false, the false seem true; 
Appearances deceive, so think it through. 

"Consequently, a master should not implicitly 
rely on the advice of a servant who lacks the admin- 
istrative sense, inasmuch as rascally servants, for 
their personal profit, present matters to the master in 
a false light, and with bewildering eloquence. Hence, 
a master should undertake a matter only after full 
reflection. As the proverb says: 

Let fit and friendly counsel first. 

And more than once, be heard; 
Then ponder on the plan proposed 

From first to final word; 
Then act, and harvest fame and wealth, 

Avoiding the absurd. 

"Finally, let no master suffer his mind to be 
twitched aside by others' counsel. Let him always be 
mindful of the differences in men, let him fully con- 
sider the ultimate issue, whether favorable or the 
reverse, of various counsels, answers, and times of 
action. Let him be the master, a wise master, ever 
cognizant of the multiform complexities of duty." 

Here ends Book I, called "The Loss of Friends." 
The first verse runs: 

The forest lion and the bull 
Were linked in friendship, growing, full; 
A jackal then estranged the friends 
For greedy and malicious ends. 



Here, then, begins Book II, called "The Winning 
of Friends." The first verse runs: 

The mouse and turtle, deer and crow. 
Had first-rate sense and learning; so. 
Though money failed and means were few. 
They quickly put their purpose through. 

"How was that?" asked the princes. And Vishnu- 
sharman told the following story. 

In the southern country is a city called Maidens' 

Delight. Not far away was a very lofty banyan tree 

with mighty trunk and branches, which gave refuge 

to all creatures. As the verse puts it: 

Blest be the tree whose every part 
Brings joy to many a creature's heart — 
Its green roof shelters birds in rows, 
While deer beneath its shadow doze; 
Its flowers are sipped by tranquil bees. 
And insects throng its cavities. 
While monkeys in familiar mirth 
Embrace its trunk. That tree has worth; 
But others merely cumber earth. 

In the tree lived a crow named Swift. One morn- 
ing he started toward the city in search of food. But he 
saw a hunter who lived in the neighborhood and who 



was already near the tree, approaching to trap birds. 
He was hideous in person, flat of hand and foot, bare 
to the calf of the leg, dreadfully ugly of complexion, 
had bloodshot eyes, was accompanied by dogs, wore 
his hair in a knot, carried snare and club in his hand — 
why spin it out? He seemed a second god of destruc- 
tion, noose in hand; the incarnation of evil; the heart 
of unrighteousness; the teacher of every sin; the 
bosom friend of death. 

When Swift saw him, he was disturbed in spirit 
and reflected: "What does he mean to do, the sinner? 
To hurt me? Or has he some other purpose?" And 
he clung to the hunter's heels, being filled with curi- 

Now the hunter picked a spot, spread a snare, 
scattered grain, and hid not far away. But the birds 
who lived there were held in check by Swift's counsel, 
regarded the rice-grains as deadly poison, and did not 

At this juncture a dove-king named Gay-Neck, 
with hundreds of dove retainers, was wandering in 
search of food, and spied the rice-grains from afar. 
In spite of dissuasion from Swift, he greedily sought 
to eat them and alighted in the great snare. The mo- 
ment he did so, he and his retainers were caught in the 
meshes. Nor should he be blamed. It happened 
through hostile fate. As the saying goes: 

How did Ravan fail to feel 
That 'tis wrong, a wife to steal? 


How did Rama fail to see 
Golden deer could never be? 
How Yudhishthir fail to know 
Gambling brings a train of woe? 
Clutching evil dims the sense, 
Darkening intelligence. 

And again: 

When once the mind is gripped by fate, 
The judgment even of the great. 
In mortal meshes fettered, wends 
To unintended, crooked ends. 

So the hunter gleefully lifted his club and ran 
forward. Then Gay-Neck and his retainers, seeing 
him advancing, were distressed by their disastrous 
position in the snare. But the king, with much pre- 
sence of mind, said to the doves: "Have no fear, my 
friends. For 

Provided judgment does not fail. 

Whatever the distress, 
Men reach the farther shore of woe. 

And rest in happiness. 

We must all agree in purpose, must fly up in uni- 
son, and carry the snare away. This is not possible 
without united action. For death befalls those of dis- 
united purpose. As the saying goes: 

Bharunda birds will teach you why 
The disunited surely die: 
For, single-bellied, double-necked, 
They took a diet incorrect." 


"How was that?" asked the doves. And Gay- 
Neck told the story of 


By a certain lake in the world lived birds called 
"bharunda birds." They had one belly and two necks 

While one of these birds was sauntering about, his 
first neck found some nectar. Then the second said: 
"Give me half." And when the first refused, the 
second neck angrily picked up poison somewhere and 
ate it. As they had one belly, they died. 

"And that is why I say: 

Bharunda birds will teach you why, .... 

and the rest of it. Thus union is strength." 

When the doves heard this, being eager to live, 

they united their efforts to carry the snare away, flew 

just an arl"ow-shot into the air, formed a canopy in 

the sky, and proceeded without fear. 

When the hunter saw the snare carried away by 

birds, he looked up in amazement, thinking: "This 

is unprecedented." And he recited a stanza: 

So long as they agree, they may 
Carry the fatal snare away; 
But they will quickly disagree, 
And then those birds belong to me. 

With this in mind, he started to pursue. And when 
Gay-Neck perceived the savage pursuer and recog- 


nized his purpose, with judgment unconfused, he 
started to fly over regions rough with hills and trees. 
And Swift in turn, astonished both by Gay-Neck's 
prudent conduct and the hunter's cruel purpose, re- 
peatedly shifted his glance, looking now up, now 
down, forgot his concern for food, and followed the 
flock of doves with keenest interest. For he was think- 
ing: "What will this noble soul do next? And what 
this villain?" At last the hunter, observing that the 
flock of doves was protected by the roughness of the 
paths, turned back in disappointment, saying: 

"What shall not be, will never be; 
What shall be, follows painlessly; 
The thing your fingers grasp, will flit, 
If fate has predetermined it. 

And again: 

If fate be hostile, even gains 

Acquired no man can hold; 
They go, and take his other wealth. 

Like hoards of magic gold. 

"For, to say nothing of getting birds to eat, I have 
actually lost the snare which was my means of sup- 
porting the family." 

Now when Gay-Neck saw that the hunter had 
turned back hopeless, he said to the doves: "See! 
We may travel quietly. The villainous hunter has 
turned back. This being so, our best plan is to fly to 
the city Maidens' Delight. For in its northeastern 
quarter dwells a mouse named Gold, a dear friend of 


mine. He will cut our bonds in a hurry. He is quite 
competent to set us free from our trouble." 

So they all did as he said, for they were eager to 
find the mouse named Gold. And when they reached 
the hole which he had converted into a fortress, they 
alighted. Now previously 

The mouse, in social ethics skilled. 

Saw danger coming. Then 
He built and was residing in 

A hundred-gated den. 

This being so. Gold was alarmed at the whir of 
birds' wings, darted along one path in his fortress- 
den until just beyond reach of a cat's paw, and re- 
mained on the qui vive, wondering what it meant. But 
Gay-Neck took his stand at a gate of the den, and 
said: "My dear Gold, pray hasten to me. See what a 
plight I am in." 

Thereupon Gold, still within his fortress, said: 
"My good sir, who are you? What is your errand? 
And of what nature is your misfortune? Please in- 
form me." And Gay-Neck answered: "Why, my 
name is Gay-Neck. I am king of the doves, and a 
friend of yours. Hasten to me." At this the mouse 
felt a quiver in his body and a thrill in his soul. He 
hastened forth, saying: 

If daily to his home 

The friends who love him come. 

And coming, bring delight 

To eyes that kindle bright, 

A man has found the whole 

Of life within his soul. 


Then, observing that Gay-Neck and his retainers 
were caught in a snare, he sadly said: "My good 
friend, what is this, and whence? Tell me." 

"My good friend," answered Gay-Neck, "why do 
you ask me? For you know it well. As the proverb 

Whence, what, by whom, how long, when, where. 

And how deserved is good or ill. 
Thence, that, by him, so long, then, there, 

And so it comes. Fate has its will. 

And again: 

The peacock seems the world to view 
From thousand eyes that mock the hue 

Of some bright water-lily; 
When fear of death beclouds his mind. 
His conduct is of one born blind; 

He sinks disheartened, silly. 

A hundred leagues and twenty-five 

The vulture spies his meat. 
But — fate decreeing — fails to see 

The snare before his feet. 

And again: 

Snake, bird, and elephant are caged; 

The moon and sun go through eclipse; 
The wise are poor: all this I see. 

And think how dreadfully fate grips. 

And once again: 

The birds that in the sky securely soar. 

Endure calamities; 
While fish are plucked by men from ocean's floor 

In far, unsounded seas: 


Why speak of virtue here or moral harm? 

What stance could help or mar? 
'Tis Time that stretches forth a fatal arm. 

And seizes from afar." 

When Gay-neck had spoken thus. Gold began to 
cut his bonds, but Gay-Neck checked him, saying: 
"My good friend, this is wrong. Please do not cut my 
bonds first, but my followers'." Now Gold grew 
angry at this and said: "Come now! You are mis- 
taken. For servants follow the master." "No, no, my 
good friend," said Gay-Neck. "All these poor crea- 
tures left others to take service with me. Shall I fail 
to show them this petty honor? You know the 

The king who offers honor to 

His followers beyond their due. 

Has servants glad who never quail. 

Not even should his money fail. 

And again: 

Through trust, the root of happy power, 
A creature wins to kingship's flower; 
While lions, born to kingship, must 
As tyrants govern, lacking trust. 

"Besides, after cutting my bonds, you might per- 
haps get a toothache. Or that villainous hunter might 
return. In that case, I should surely plunge to hell. 
As the proverb says: 

A king who is content to know 
That loyal servants suffer woe. 
Will later go to hell, but first 
Will see his earthly projects burst." 


"Yes," said Gold, "I am well aware of this royal 

duty. It was to test you that I said what I did. Now 

I will cut the bonds of all, and you will have in them 

a numerous retinue. For the proverb says: 

The king who mercifully grants 
Due share in all good circumstance 
To serving-folk, may fitly rise 
The triple world to supervise." 

After making these observations. Gold cut the 

bonds of all, then said to Gay-Neck: "Now, my 

friend, you are free to go home." So Gay-Neck went 

home with his retinue. Yes, there is wisdom in the 


Because a man can gain his ends, 
Though difBcult, with aid of friends. 
Get friends, and feel those friends to be 
Integral with prosperity. 

Now Swift, who had followed the whole matter 
of Gay-Neck's capture and release, was filled with 
astonishment, and he thought: "What intelligence 
has this Gold! What capacity! What an ingenious 
fortress! It would therefore be wise for me also to 
make friends with Gold. Even though I am of a 
suspicious temperament, confiding in nobody, even if 
I am too clever to be overreached by anybody, even 
so I should win a friend. For the proverb says: 

Even the self-sufEcient should 
Get friends, and seek a greater good: 
The ocean fears no diminution. 
Yet waits Arcturus' contribution." 


After these reflections, he flew down from his tree, 
approached the gate of the den, and called out — for 
he had previously heard the name of Gold: "Gold, 
my dear sir, pray come out." 

And Gold, hearing this, reflected: "Is this per- 
haps some other dove who, still somewhat entangled, 
is addressing me?" And he said: "Who are you, sir?" 
"I am a crow," was the answer. "My name is Swift." 

On hearing this, Gold hugged a far corner and 
said: "My very dear sir, please leave this neighbor- 
hood." "But," replied the crow, "I have come to see 
you on weighty business. Please grant me an inter- 

"I see no advantage in making your acquaint- 
ance," said Gold. "But," said the crow, "I feel great 
confidence in you — the result of seeing how Gay-Neck 
was relieved of bonds through your exertions. I too 
may possibly be caught some day and find deliverance 
through you. Please enter into friendship with me." 

"Sir," answered Gold, "you eat, and I am food. 
How can I feel friendship for you? You have heard 
the saying: 

The dull think inequalities 

In strength no fatal blocks 
To friendship. True — but they are dull, , 

And public laughingstocks. 

Please begone." 

"Look!" said the crow. "Here I perch at the gate 
of your den. If you do not make friends with me, I 


shall starve to death." "But," said Gold, "how can I 
make friends with you, with an enemy? For the prov- 
erb says: 

Make no truce, however snug. 

With foemen dire: 
Water, even boiling hot. 
Will quench a fire." 

"Why," said the crow, "you do not even know me 
by sight. Why should there be strife? Why say a 
thing so little to the purpose?" 

"Sir," said Gold, "strife is of two kinds, natural 
and incidental. Now you are in natural strife with 
me. And the saying goes: 

By incidental means one ends 

An incidental strife, 
And quickly. Nature's kind endures 

Until the loss of life." 

"Sir," said the crow, "I should like to learn the 
characteristic quality of each kind." "Well," said the 
mouse, "incidental strife springs from a specific cause, 
and can therefore be removed by rendering an ap- 
propriate service. But strife rooted in nature never 
disappears. Thus there is enduring strife between 
mungoose and snake — ^herbivorous creatures and 
those armed with claws — water and fire — gods and 
devils — dogs and cats — ^rival wives — lions and ele- 
phants — hunter and deer — crow and owl — scholar 
and numskull — wife and harlot — saint and sinner. 
In these cases, nobody belonging to anybody has been 
killed by anybody, yet they fight to the death." 


"But this is senseless," said the crow. "Listen to 

For cause a man becomes a friend; 

For cause grows hostile. So 
The prudent make a friend of him, 
And never make a foe." 

"But," said Gold, "what commerce can there be 

between you and me? Listen to the kernel of social 


Whoever trusts a faithless friend 

And twice in him believes, 

Lays hold on death as certainly 

As when a mule conceives. 

And again: 

A lion took the life of Panini, 

Grammar's most famous name; 
A tusker madly crushed sage Jaimini 

Of metaphysic fame; 
And Pingal, metric's boast, was slaughtered by 

A seaside crocodile — 
What sense for scholarly attainments high 

Have beasts besotted, vile?" 

"True enough," said the crow. "But listen to this: 

The beasts and birds as friends are won 
For cause; plain folks, for service done; 
And silly souls, for greed or fright — 
But good men are your friends at sight. 

And again: 

Like pots of clay, the wicked friend 
Is quick to smash and hard to mend: 
Like pots of gold the righteous flash. 
As quick to mend, as hard to smash. 


And yet again: 

Each segment of a sugar-cane 

Beyond the tip, is sweeter; 
The friendship of the good is so — 

The other kind grows bitter. 

Now I assure you that I am upright. Besides, I will 
reassure you by taking oaths." 

But Gold replied: "I have no confidence in your 
oaths. There is a saying: 

Though a foe be bound by oaths. 

Trust him none the more: 
Indra struck the demon down. 

Spite of oaths galore. 

And again: 

Even gods must try to lull 

Foes with measures mild: 
Indra, soothing Diti first. 

Smote her unborn child. 

Through a narrow crevice slip 

Enemies who gloat. 
Bringing slow destruction, like 

Water in a boat. 

If, relying on their means. 

Men confide in foes, 
Or in wives whose love is lost. 

Life abrupdy goes." 

To this Swift found no rejoinder, and he thought: 
"What an eminent intelligence he has in the field of 
social ethics! Yet for that very reason I crave his 
friendship." And he said: 


"True friendship, sir, is an affair 
Of seven words, the wise declare; 
I've forced you, then, to be a friend — 
So hear my pleading to the end. 

Now grant me your friendship. If you refuse, I shall 
starve where I stand." 

And Gold reflected: "He is not unintelligent. His 
speech proves it. 

None lacking shrewdness flatter well; 
None but a lover plays the swell; 
No saints are found in judgment seats; 
No clear, straightforward speaker cheats. 

So I must certainly grant him my friendship." 

Having made up his mind to this, he said to the 
crow: "My dear sir, you have won my confidence. 
But it was necessary first to test your intelligence. 
Now I lay my head in your lap." With this he started 
to come forth, but when scarcely halfway out, he 
stopped again. And Swift said: "Do you cherish even 
yet some reason for mistrusting me? I see you do not 
leave your fortress." 

"I have no fear of you," said Gold, "for I have 
examined your mind. But if I gave my confidence, I 
might perhaps meet death through other friends of 
yours." Then the crow spoke: 

Friends purchased at the price of death 

To other friends and true. 
One should avoid, like worthless com 

Where finest rice-plants grew. 


Hearing this, Gold hastened forth, and there was 
a civil greeting on both sides. After a moment Swift 
said to Gold: "I will not keep you longer outdoors. 
I am in search of food." With this he left his friend 
and flew into thick jungle where he found a wild 
bufl^alo that a tiger had killed. Of this he ate his fill, 
then returned to Gold, carrying a lump of meat red 
as a dhak-blossom. And he cried: "Come out, my 
dear Gold! Come out! Enjoy this meat that I 
have brought." 

Now Gold, with sedulous forethought, had con- 
structed a great heap of corn and rice for his friend's 
use. And he said: "My dear friend, pray enjoy this 
rice which I have provided to the best of my ability." 
So each was highly pleased with the other, and they 
ate in order to manifest kindly feeling. This, indeed, 
is the seed of friendship. As the verse puts it: 

Six things are done by friends: 

To take, and give again; 
To listen, and to talk; 

To dine, to entertain. 

No friendship ever comes 

Without some kindly deed: 
The very gods respond 

To gifts they have decreed. 

As soon as presents cease. 

So soon does friendship die: 
The calf deserts the cow 

Whose udder has gone dry. 


So, to make a long story short: 

The mouse and crow became 

Such friends as never fail. 
Enduring, hard to split 

As flesh and finger nail. 

Indeed, the mouse was so captivated by the crow's 
attentions that he grew confident to the point of 
feeling quite at home between his wings. 

Now one day the crow appeared with tears filling 
his eyes, and sobs choked him as he said: "My very 
dear Gold, I have grown dissatisfied with this coun- 
try. I intend to travel." "My dear friend," said 
Gold, "what cause have you for discontent?" 

"Listen, my friend," said the crow. "There has 
been a dreadful drought in this country, so that all 
the city people, driven by famine, not only cease to 
give the birds a few mere crumbs, but actually set 
bird-traps in every house. To be sure, I have not been 
caught, for further life is appointed me. Yet this is 
why I shed tears — for I think of foreign travel. This 
is why I plan to visit another land." "Then tell me 
where you plan to go," said Gold. And Swift replied: 

"In the far south is a great lake in the heart of the 
jungle. There lives a turtle named Slow, a bosom 
friend of mine, dearer even than you are. He will give 
me bits offish, a digestible diet. In his society I shall 
be happy, enjoying the delight of conversation spiced 
with wit. Besides, I cannot behold such slaughter of 
birds. For the proverb says: 


Blest are they who do not see 
Death upon the family. 
Friend in trouble, stolen wife. 
Ruin of the nation's life." 

"Considering the circumstances," said Gold, "I 
will accompany you. I, too, have a great sorrow." 
"Of what nature?" asked Swift. "Oh," said Gold, "it 
is a long story. When we get there, I will tell you in 

"But," said the crow, "I travel in the air, you on 
the ground. How will you accompany me?" And 
Gold answered: "If you feel concern for the preserva- 
tion of my life, mount me on your back and carry me 
very gently." 

At this the crow was delighted and said: "If that 
is possible, then I am blest indeed. There is none 
more blest than I. Let it be done. For I know the 
eight flights, Full-Flight and the rest. Thus I shall 
carry you in comfort." 

"My friend," said Gold, "I should like to know 

the flights by name." And the crow recited: 

Full-Flight, Part-Flight, and the Rise, 
Great-Flight, and the Curve likewise. 
Horizontal, Downward-Flight; 
Number eight is called the Light. 

After listening to this. Gold mounted the crow, 
who set off at Full-Flight. And very gently he 
brought his friend to the lake. 

Thereupon Slow saw a mouse riding a crow, and 
wondering who he might be, plopped into the water — 


for he was a judge of occasions. And Swift, after de- 
positing Gold in a hole in a tree on the bank, perched 
on the tip of a twig and called in a piercing tone: 
"Friend Slow! Come here! I am your crow friend. 
After long absence I have come, my heart filled with 
longing. Come, embrace me. For the saying runs: 

Bring sandalwood or camphor? No! 
Nor even flakes of cooling snow; 
All are not worth the sixteenth part 
Of rest upon a friendly heart." 

When he heard this. Slow made a narrow inspec- 
tion, then, with a quiver of delight and with eyes 
swimming in joyful tears, he hurriedly scrambled 
from the water, saying: "I did not know you. I am 
much to blame. Forgive me." And when Swift flew 
down from the tree, he embraced him. 

So the two, after exchanging embraces, thrilled 
with delight, and sitting beneath the tree told each 
other their adventures during the long separation. 
Gold also, with a bow to Slow, sat down there. And 
Slow, spying him, said to Swift: "Tell me, who is this 
mouse? And why did you mount him, your natural 
food, on your back and bring him hither?" 

And Swift replied: "Ah, he is a mouse named 
Gold, a friend of mine, almost my second life. To 
make a short story of it: 

His virtues, like the streams of rain 

Or stars that dot the sky 
Or like the grains of dust on earth 

All numbering defy; 


Yes, mathematics fails to count 

His lofty virtues through; 
Yet he, in deep dejection sunk. 

Has come to visit you." 

"And what," said Slow, "is the cause of his 
gloom?" "That," said the crow, "I asked him yonder. 
But he put me off, saying: 'It is a long story. I will 
tell you when we get there.' Now, my very dear Gold, 
pray tell us both the cause of your gloom." 

And Gold told the story of 


In the southern country is a city called Maidens' 
Delight, and in the neighborhood a shrine to Shiva. 
In a cell near by lived a hermit named Crop-Ear. 
During his begging hour he would fill his alms-bowl 
with dainties from the city, eatables jellified, melting 
in the mouth, toothsome, flavored with sugar, treacle, 
and pomegranate. Then, returning to his cell, he 
satisfied himself according to the ordinance, hid what 
food was left in the alms-bowl, and hung it on a peg, 
keeping it for the servants' breakfast. On this food 
I subsisted with my companions. And so the time 

Since I nibbled his food, however carefully he hid 
it, the hermit was disgusted, and in fear of me he 
moved it from place to place, always hanging it high- 
er. Even so I got at it easily enough and ate it. 

Now one day a guest arrived, a holy man named 
Wide-Bottom. And Crop-Ear welcomed him, paid 


him due respect, and relieved his fatigue. At night 
they lay on the same couch and started to relate 
pious tales. But Crop-Ear's thoughts were so pre- 
occupied with mice that he kept striking the alms- 
bowl with a frazzled bamboo and returned an absent- 
minded answer to Wide-Bottom as he told a pious 

Then the guest grew extremely angry and said: 
"Come, Crop-Ear! I perceive that your friendship is 
dead. For you do not talk with me whole-heartedly. 
So, night though it be, I shall leave your cell and go 
elsewhere. For there is a saying: 

'Come! Enter! News from town? 

A chair! You look run down! 

Welcome! Why have you slighted 

Our home so long? Dee-lighted!' 

Such kindly words as these 

May set the mind at ease, 

And friends be glad to go 

Where they are greeted so. 
And again: 

Wherever hosts look vaguely round 
Or fix their glances on the ground. 
The guests who visit such a place 
Are hornless, yet of bovine race. 

You should not visit any home 
From which no gentle greetings come. 
Which fails in eager promptitude. 
With gossip touching bad and good. 

"But this you do not understand, having forgotten 
friendship through pride in the ownership of one mere 


cell. So that you seem to dwell here, but in reality 
you have earned a place in hell. For the proverb says: 

A certain course for hell to steer. 
Become a chaplain for a year; 
Or try more expeditious ways — 
Become an abbot for three days. 

Poor fool! You take pride in what should cause con- 

When he heard this, Crop-Ear was terrified and 
said: "Do not speak thus, holy sir. There is no friend 
nearer my heart than you. Pray hear the reason of 
my inattention. There is a villainous mouse that 
jumps and climbs to my alms-bowl, however high I 
hang it, and he eats my leavings. Thus the servants 
get no recompense, and refuse to tidy up. So to 
frighten the mouse, I strike the alms-bowl repeatedly 
with my bamboo. This is the whole story. But I 
should add that the villain has such cleverness in 
jumping as to put cats, monkeys, and other creatures 
to the blush." 

Then Wide-Bottom said: "But have you found 
the mouse-hole anywhere?" "Holy sir," said Crop- 
Ear, "I have not." "Surely," said the other, "his hole 
is over his hoard. Beyond question, the fragrance 
from his hoard makes him spry. For 

The smell of wealth is quite enough 
To wake a creature's sterner stuiF; 
And wealth's enjoyment, even more. 
With virtuous giving from his store. 


And again: 

*Tis certain Mother Shandilee 

If bargaining in sesame — 

Her hulled grains for the unhuUed kind — 

Has some good reason in her mind." 

"How was that?" asked Crop-Ear. And Wide- 
Bottom told the story of 


At one time I asked a certain Brahman in a certain 
town for shelter during the rainy season, and this he 
gave me. So there I lived, occupied with pious duties. 

One day I woke betimes, and listening to a con- 
versation between my host and his wife, I heard the 
Brahman say: "My dear, tomorrow will be the winter 
solstice, an extremely profitable season. So I will 
go to another village in search of donations. And you, 
in honor of the sun, should give some Brahman food 
to the extent of your ability." 

But his wife snapped at him harshly, saying: 
"Who would give food to a poor Brahman like you? 
Are you not ashamed to talk like that? And besides: 

Since first I put my hand in yours, 

I haven't had a thing: 
I've never tasted stylish food; 

Don't mention gem or ring." 

At this the Brahman was terrified and he stam- 
mered: "My dear, my dear, you should not say such 
things. You have heard the saying: 


You have a mouthful only? Give 

A half to feed the needy: 
Will any ever own the wealth 

For which his soul is greedy? 

And again: 

The poor man can but give a mite; 

Yet his reward is such — 
The Scriptures tell us — as is his. 

From riches giving mudi. 

The cloud gives only water, yet 
The whole world treats him as a pet: 
But none can bear the sun, who stands 
With rays that look Uke outstretched hands. 

"Bearing this in mind, even the poor should give 
to the right person at the right time — though the gift 
seems beneath contempt. For 

Great faith, a gift appropriate. 

Fit time, a fit recipient. 
An understanding heart — and gifts 

Are blest beyond all measurement. 

And some quote this: 

Indulge in no excessive greed 
(A litde helps in time of need) 
But one, by greed excessive led. 
Perceived a topknot on his head." 

"How was that?" asked the wife. And the Brah- 
man told the story of 

There was once a hillman in a certain place who 
set out to increase his sins by hunting. As he walked 


along, he met a boar that resembled the top of Sooty 

Mountain. Straightway he drew an arrow as far as 

his ear, and recited this verse: 

The fitted shaft and bow-string's tension 
He sees, and shows no apprehension; 
The psychological conclusion 
Is: Death has prompted this intrusion. 

Then with a sharp arrow he shot the boar, who in 
turn angrily tore the hillman's stomach with a 
pointed fang that shone like the crescent moon, so 
that the man fell dead. The boar also, after killing the 
hunter, died in torment from the arrow-wound. 

At this point a starving jackal reached the spot in 
his aimless wanderings. When he spied a boar and a 
hunter, both dead, he gleefully thought: "Fate is 
kind to me, providing this unlooked-for store of food. 
There is wisdom in the verse: 

The fruit of actions good or bad 

In each preceding state, 
Without a further effort, comes 

Upon us, brought by fate. 

And again: 

Each deed from every time and place 

And age, as consequence 
Brings good or evil in exact 

And fitting recompense. 

"Now I will eat in such a way as to have suste- 
nance for many days. I will begin with the sinew 
wrapped round the bow-tip. I will hold it in my paws 
and eat very slowly. For the saying goes: 


G)nsumpt*ion of a treasure earned 

Should very slowly follow. 
As wise men sip elixir down. 

Not bolt it at a swallow." 

After these reflections, he took into his mouth the 
sinew with its end hanging from the bow. And when 
the gut snapped, the bow-tip pierced the roof of his 
mouth and came out like a topknot. And the jackal 
perished from the pain of it. 

"And that is why I say: 

Indulge in no excessive greed, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Then the Brahman continued: "My dear, did you 
never hear this? 

These five are fixed for every man 

Before he leaves the womb: 
His length of days, his fate, his wealth. 

His learning, and his tomb." 

After this preachment, the wife said: "Well, I 
believe I have a bit of sesame grain in the house. I 
will grind it into flour and feed a Brahman." And her 
husband, having received her promise, went ofF to 
another village. 

Then the wife softened the sesame grains in hot 
water, hulled them, placed them in the hot sun, and 
returned to her chores in the house. In this state of 
aflPairs a dog made water in the dish of grain, and she 
thought when she saw it: "Dear me! See how shrewd 


fate is, when it has turned against you. Even these 
poor sesame grains it has made unfit to eat. Well, I 
will take them to some neighbor's house, and make 
an exchange, unhulled for hulled. For anybody will 
bargain on those terms." So she put her grain in a 
basket and went from house to house, saying: "Who 
cares to exchange sesame unhulled for sesame hulled?" 

Now she happened to enter with her grain a house 
which I had entered to beg alms, and she made her 
offer there. The housewife was delighted and took 
the hulled grain in exchange for unhulled. Later, her 
husband came home and asked: "My dear, what does 
this mean?" And she told him: "I made a bargain, 
hulled sesame for unhulled." 

Over this he pondered, then said: "To whom did 
this grain belong ?" And his son Kamandaki told him: 
"To Mother Shandilee." Then he said: "My dear 
wife, she is mighty shrewd at a bargain. You had bet- 
ter throw this sesame away. 

'Tis certain Mother Shandilee, 
If bargaining in sesame — 
' Her hulled grains for the unhulled kind — 

Has some good reason in her mind." 

"So," said Wide-Bottom, "he surely derives this 
vigor in jumping from the smell of his hoard." And 
he continued: "Do you know his manner of attack?" 
"Yes, holy sir, I do," answered Crop-Ear. "He comes 
not alone, but with a school of mice." 

"WeU now," said Wide-bottom, "is there any dig- 


ging tool about?" "Indeed there is," said Crop-Ear. 

"Here is a handy pickaxe, solid iron." "In that case," 

said the guest, "you and I must wake early, so as to 

follow their tracks together, while the footprints still 

dirty the floor." 

Now when I heard the villain's speech fall like a 

thunderbolt, I thought: "Ah, this spells ruin for me. 

For his words imply something more. Just as he has 

marked my hoard, so he will surely discover my 

fortress, also. Of this his implied meaning convinces 

me. For the proverb says: 

Shrewd characters at sight 

Can estimate aright i 

Their man, as some are deft 

To gauge an ounce by heft. 

And again: 

The budding fancy first betrays 

The character that strives 
For birth as recompense of good 

Or ill in former lives: 
No marking tail has grown, yet when 

You see the beggar pick 
His mincing steps about the pond. 

You cry: 'A peacock chick!' " 

So I was terrified, deserted the beaten track to my 
fortress, and with my followers started on another 

Then a prodigious cat met us, and seeing the whole 
pack before him, pounced into our midst. And the 
mice who survived the slaughter scolded me for pick- 
ing a bad trail, and sought shelter in the old fortress. 


drenching the floor with blood. Yes, there is wisdom 
in the old story: 

A deer there was that burst his bonds; 

He flung the trap aside; 
He violently broke apart 

The hobbling snare that tied; 

From woods uncouth with tufted flames 

Around him bristling, fled; 
The hunters' arrows left behind; 

To seeming safety sped; 

Into a well at last he tumbles: 
On hostile fate all effort stumbles. 

Then I departed, alone. The others — poor dolts! 
plunged into the old fortress. Thereupon the holy 
man, perceiving that the floor was smeared with 
drops of blood, followed the trail to the fortress, and 
began to ply the pickaxe. As he dug, he came upon 
the hoard over which I had lived so long, and the 
smell of which used to guide me back to the fortress. 

Then Wide-Bottom was filled with glee and said: 
"Now, Crop-ear, sleep in peace. It was the smell of 
this that enabled the mouse to wake you." So they 
took the hoard and turned to the cell. 

Now when I returned to the spot, I could not bear 
to look at the sad, disturbing sight. And I reflected: 
"Ah, what shall I do? Where shall I go? How may I 
win peace of mind?" In such reflections the day 
dragged drearily away. 

Still, when the sun had laid his thousand beams to 


rest, I went with my companions to the same cell, 
though I was troubled and lacking in vigor. And 
when Crop-Ear heard the patter of our pack, time 
and again he started to strike the alms-bowl with his 
frazzled bamboo. 

Then his guest said: "My friend, why not go 
peacefully to sleep at last?" "Holy sir," he replied, 
"I am sure that villainous mouse has come with his 
followers. I do this from fear of him." 

But Wide-Bottom laughed and said: "Have no 
fear, my friend. His jumping energy is gone with his 
property. This rule applies to all creatures without 
exception. As the saying goes: 

The man has constant vigor? Dares 

On others' backs to mount? 
Speaks in a self-sufficient tone? 

He has a bank account." 

This angered me so that I made a desperate jump 
for the alms-bowl, but missed and fell to the floor. 
And my enemy saw me and said to Crop-Ear: "Look, 
my friend! It is quite wonderful. You could put it 
into poetry: 

The wealthy men are men of force; 
And they are scholars all, of course: 
The mouse who lost his wealthy store, 
Is now a mouse and nothing more. 

And there is point in this: 

A fangless snake; an elephant 
Without an ichor-store; 


A man who lacks a cash account — 
Are names and nothing more." 

When I heard this, I reflected: "Alas! It is true, 
though it is my enemy who says it. For today I have 
not the power to jump a mere finger's breadth. A 
curse upon a fellow's life without money! As the say- 
ing goes: 

After money has departed. 

If the wit is frail. 
Then, like rills in summer weather. 

Undertakings fail. 

Forest sesame, crow-barley, 

Men who have no cash, 
Owning names but lacking substance. 

Are accounted trash. 

Beggars have, no doubt, their virtues. 

Yet they do not flash: 
As the world has need of sunlight. 

Virtues ask for cash. 

Beggars-bom less keenly suffer 

Than the men who crash 
From a life of comfort to a 

Deficit of cash. 

Like the flabby breasts of widows, 

Hopes and wishes rash 
Helpless fall upon the bosom. 

When there is no cash. 

The sun that stuns the eyes that shun. 

In vain he strains to see: 
The light so bright is wrapped in night 

By veils of poverty." 


With this broken-spirited lamentation I saw my 
own hoard of wealth converted into a pillow for my 
enemy, and at dawn I crept into my fortress — a 

Then my attendants retired and gossiped to- 
gether. "Look here!" said they, "the fellow has no 
power to fill our bellies. Those who ride his back get 
nothing but buffets — from cats, for example. Why 
pay him reverence? For the proverb says: 

A king from whom no bounties come. 

But only buffets fall, 
Had better be avoided, and 

By soldiers first of all." 

Such remarks I heard on the trail. And since, 
when I returned to the fortress, not one of my fol- 
lowers accompanied me (for I was penniless) I began 
to ponder deeply. 

"A curse, a curse on a life of poverty! There is 

sound sense in the verse: 

Even relatives are sure 
Scornfully to treat the poor; 
Pride is docked, and virtue's moon 
Loses luster, waning soon; 
Friends that were, disgusted fly; 
Sorrows breed and multiply; 
Comes the imputation then 
Of the sins of other men. 

When man is crushed by poverty 

And stricken down by fate. 
His best of friends become his foes, 

And tried affection, hate. 


And again: 

Empty is the childless home; 

Hearts that lack a friendship sure; 
Wide horizons, to the fool; 

All is empty to the poor. 

And once again : 

His passions are entire; his name. 
Keen wit, and speech are just the same; 
The man's the same. No! See him change! 
Cash fails. The life is out! Ah, strange! 

"Yet what have folk like me to do with money? 
Folk whose final fate is such as this? Positively my 
best course, now that property is gone, is to withdraw 
to the forest. As the proverb says: 

Pride builds a proper house; 

Never be humble: 
Spurn cars of heaven, where 

Pride takes a tumble. 

Failure may dog the step; 

Pride stands erect. 
Stoops not to widest wealth 

Tainted, abject." 

And I continued my reflections : "Yes, the curse of 
beggary is dreadful as death. For 

Gutted by the forest fire. 
Stands in sterile soil a tree. 

Gnarled, and riddled by the worms- 
Better that than beggar be. 

And as for beggary: 

It is the shrine of wretchedness, 
The dwelling-place of tears. 


The thief of mind, the soil of doubts. 
The treasury of fears, 

Concreted meanness, home of woe. 

And haughty honor's knell, 
A form of death — to self-esteem 

No different from hell. 

And again : 

A beggar is a man of shame. 

Who bids farewell to honor's name; 

From this, humiliations grow. 

Then melancholy's gloomy woe; 

But gloom with sadness dims the sense. 

And sad men lack intelligence; 

Now death is folly's certain fruit — 

Thus, money's lack is evil's root. 

And once again: 

Thrust your hands between the jaws 

Of an angry snake; 
Slumber in the house of Death; 

Poisoned liquor take; 
Dash yourself to pieces down 

Himalaya's side: 
Do not feast on riches wrung 

From a villain's pride. 

To sum it up: 

Feed your body to the flames. 

Friend, if you are needy; 
Do not cringe to beg a dole 

From the selfish-greedy. 

Better roam in forest wilds 

With the beasts of prey 
Than, by whimpering for gifts, 

Baseness to betray. 


"This being the case, what possible course shall I 
adopt to keep alive? How about robbery? That too 
is damnable, for it means appropriating what belongs 
to others. As the verse puts it: 

Better let your tongue be tied 
Than to know that you have lied; 
Better to be impotent 
Than adulterously bent; 
Better die than take delight 
In the petty pricks of spite; 
Better beg as monk than feel 
That you live by what you steal. 

Well, then, shall I live on charity? That, too, is 
damnable, my friends, damnable. That too is a 
second gate of death. As the saying goes: 

Parasite, or exiled scamp, 
Invalid, or homeless tramp — 
Life is death for these. The best 
Would be death. For death is rest. 

"Then I must at any cost recover the very treasure 
that Wide-bottom has stolen. For I saw my money- 
bag converted into a pillow for those two villains. I 
must regain my property, and if I die in the attempt, 
it will be better than this. For 

If cowards who see themselves despoiled 

Too tamely feel the sting, 
Their fathers in the world beyond 

Will spurn their offering." 

After reaching this conclusion, I went there at 
night and gnawed a hole in the bag after he had gone 


to sleep. Thereupon that dreadful holy man awoke 
and struck me on the head with the frazzled bamboo. 
Yet somehow I escaped death — ^predestination, you 
see. As the old rhyme puts it: 

What's duly his, a man receives; 

This law not even God can break; 
My heart is not surprised, nor grieves; 

For what is mine, no strangers take. 

"How was that?" asked the crow and the turtle. 
And Gold told the story of 

In a certain city lived a merchant named Ocean. 
His son picked up a book at a sale for a hundred 
rupees. In this book was the line: 

What's duly his, a man receives. 

Now Ocean saw it and asked his son: "My boy, 
what did you give for this book?" "A hundred 
rupees," said the son. "Simpleton!" said Ocean, "if 
you pay a hundred rupees for a book with one line of 
poetry written in it, how do you calculate to make 
money? From this day you are not at home in my 
house." After this wigging, he showed him the door. 

This melancholy rebuff drove the young man to 
another country far away, where he came to a city 
and stopped there. After some days a native asked 
him: "Whence are you, sir? What might your name 
be?" And he replied: 

"What's duly his, a man receives." 


To a second inquirer he gave the same reply. Then 
on all who questioned him, he bestowed his stereo- 
typed answer. This is how he came by his nickname 
of Mister Duly. 

Now a princess named Moonlight, who was in the 
first flush of youth and beauty, stood one day with a 
girl friend, looking out over the city. At that spot a 
prince, extraordinarily handsome and charming, 
chanced to come — ^it was fate's doing — within her 
range of vision. The moment she saw him, she was 
smitten by the arrows of Love, and said to her friend: 
"Dear girl, you must make an eflTort to bring us to- 
gether this very day." 

So the friend went straight to him and said: 
"Moonlight sent me to you. She sends you this mes- 
sage: 'The sight of you has reduced me to the last 
extremity of love. If you do not hasten to me, I shall 
die, nothing less.' " 

On hearing this, he said: "If I cannot avoid the 
trip, please tell me how to get into the house." And 
the friend said: "When night comes, you must climb 
up a stout strap that will be hanging from an upper 
story of the palace." And he replied: "If you have it 
all settled, I will do my part." With this understand- 
ing the girl returned to Moonlight. 

But when night came, the prince thought it over: 

"A Brahman-slayer, so they say. 
Is he who tries to house 
With teacher's child, or wife of friend, 
Or royal servant's spouse. 


And again: 

A deed that brings dishonor. 

Whereby a man must fall. 
That causes disadvantage, 

Don't do it— that is all." 

So after full reflection he did not go to her. But 
Mister Duly was roaming through the night and spied 
a strap hanging down the wall of a fine stucco house. 
Out of curiosity mingled with bravado he took hold 
and climbed. 

Now the princess, being perfectly confident that 
he was the right man, treated him with high con- 
sideration, giving him a bath, a meal, a drink, fine 
garments, and the like. Then she went to bed with 
him, and her limbs thrilled with joy at touching him. 
But she said: "I fell in love with you at first sight, 
and have given you my person. I shall never have 
another husband, even mentally. Why don't you 
realize this and talk to me?" And he replied: 
"What's duly his, a man receives." 

When she heard this, her heart stopped beating, 
and she sent him down the strap in a hurry. So he 
made for a tumble-down temple and went to sleep. 
Presently a policeman who had an appointment with 
a woman of easy virtue arrived there and found him 
asleep. As the policeman wished to hush the matter 
up, he said: "Who are you?" and the other answered: 

"What's duly his, a man receives." 


When he heard this, the policeman said: "This 
temple is deserted. Go and sleep in my bed." And he 
agreed, but made a blunder, lying down in the wrong 
bed. In that bed lay the policeman's daughter, a big 
girl named Naughty, beautiful and young. She had 
made a date with a man she loved, and when she saw 
Mister Duly, she thought: "Here is my sweetheart." 
So, her blunder due to the pitchy darkness of the 
night, she rose, gave herself in marriage by the cere- 
mony used in heaven, then lay with him in bed, her 
lotus-eyes and lily-face ablossom. But she said: 
"Even yet you do not talk nicely with me. Why 
not?" And he replied: 

"What's duly his, a man receives." 

On hearing this, she thought: "This is what one 
gets for being careless." So she gave him a sorrowful 
scolding and sent him packing. 

As he walked along a business street, there ap- 
proached a bridegroom named Fine-Fame. He came 
from another district and marched with a great 
whanging of tom-toms. So Mister Duly joined the pro- 
cession. Since the happy moment was near at hand, 
the bride, a merchant's daughter, was standing at the 
door of her father's house near the highway. She 
stood on a raised step under an awning provided for 
the occasion, and displayed her wedding finery. 

At this moment an elephant reached the spot, run- 
ning amuck. He had killed his driver, had got be- 


yond control, and the crowd was in a hubbub, every- 
one scared out of his wits. When the bridegroom's 
parade caught a glimpse of him, they ran — the 
bridegroom, too — and started for the horizon. 

In this crisis Mister Duly perceived the girl, all 
alone, her eyes dancing with terror, and with the 
words: "Don't worry. I will save you," manfully re- 
assured her, put his right arm around her, and with 
enormous sang-froid gave the elephant a cruel scold- 
ing. And the elephant — it was fate's doing — actually 
went away. 

Presently Fine-Fame appeared with friends and 
relatives, too late for the wedding; for another man 
was holding his bride's hand. At the sight of his 
rival, he said: "Come, father-in-law! This is hardly 
respectable. You promised your daughter to me, then 
gave her to another man." "Sir," said the father-in- 
law, "I was frightened by the elephant, and I ran too. 
I came back with you gentlemen, and do not know 
what has been going on." 

Then he turned and questioned his daughter: 
"My darling girl, what you have been doing is scarce- 
ly the thing. Tell me what this business means." And 
she replied: "This man saved me from deadly peril. 
So long as I live, no man but him shall hold my hand." 

When the story got abroad, dawn had come, ^nd 
as a great crowd gathered in the early morning, the 
princess heard the story of events and came to the 
spot. The policeman's daughter also, hearing what 


passed from lip to lip, visited the place. And the king 
in turn, learning of the gathering of a great crowd, 
arrived in person, and said to Mister Duly: "Speak 
without apprehension. What sort of business is this ?" 
And Mister Duly said: 

"What's duly his, a man receives." 

Then the princess remembered, and she said: 
"This law not even God can break." 

Then the policeman's daughter said: 

"My heart is not surprised, nor grieves." 

And hearing all this, the merchant's daughter said: 
"For what is mine, no strangers take." 

Then the king promised immunity to one and all, 
arrived at the truth by piecing their narratives to- 
gether, and ended by respectfully giving Mister Duly 
his own daughter, together with a thousand villages. 
Then he bethought himself that he had no son, so he 
anointed Mister Duly crown prince. And the crown 
prince, together with his family, lived happily; for 
means of enjoyment were provided in great variety. 

"And that is why I say: 

What's duly his, a man receives, .... 

and the rest of it." And Gold continued: 

"After these reflections, I recovered from my 
money-madness. For there is much wisdom in this: 

Not rank, but character, is birth; 
It is not eyes, but wits, that see; 


True learning 'tis, to cease from wrong; 
Contentment is prosperity. 

And again: 

Yes, all prosperities are his, 

Whose heart is filled with mirth: 
The feet in leather sandals shod. 

Travel a leather earth. 

A hundred leagues is naught to him 

Whose vehicle is greed: 
To clasp the wealth that fingers touch 

Contentment has no need. 

Since Vishnu, universal lord. 
Through thee a dwarf was made, 

manhood's solvent. Greed divine. 
To thee be homage paid. 

No feat is hard for thee, O Greed, 

Dishonor's wedded dame. 
Who, for the men of kindest heart, 

Preparest draughts of shame. 

What man should never bear, I bore; 
I spoke and, speaking, lied; 

1 waited at the stranger's door: 
O Greed, be satisfied! 

And again: 

I've drunk foul water; slept forlorn 

On gathered bits of broken thorn; 

I've lost my love, I've begged for alms. 

Enduring heart- and belly-qualms; 

I've crossed the sea; I've walked afar; 

I've treasured half a shattered jar: 

Of further labors is there need ? 

Quick, damn you! Give your orders, Greed! 


No poor man's evidence is heard, 

Though logic link it word to word: 

While wealthy babble passes muster 

Though crammed with harshness, vice, and bluster. 

The wealthy, though of meanest birth. 
Are much respected on the earth: 
The poor whose lineage is prized 
Like clearest moonlight, are despised. 

The wealthy are, however old. 
Rejuvenated by their gold: 
If money has departed, then 
The youngest lads are aged men. 

Since brother, son, and wife, and friend 
Desert when cash is at an end, 
Returning when the cash rolls in, 
Tis cash that is our next of kin. 

"At the moment when, with such thoughts in my 
mind, I went to my quarters, our friend Swift came 
to me and suggested a journey hither. So here I am. 
I have come with him to visit you. Thus I have 
related to you the cause of my gloom. 

"Well, there is this to be said: 

The world — gods, elephants, and men. 

Deer, devils, snakes — 
Before the noonday hour is spent. 

Its dinner takes. 

When hour and appetite arrive. 

There should suffice 
For world-wide conqueror or slave 

A bowl of rice. 


For this, what man of sense would do 

Base deeds perverse, 
Whose consequences drag him down 

From bad to worse?" 

When he had listened to this, Slow began to offer 
consolation. "My dear fellow," said he, "you must 
not lose heart at leaving your country. Intelligent as 
you are, why feel disturbed without occasion? Con- 
sider the saying: 

The merely leamM is a fool; 
The wise man uses action's tool: 
For no remembered drug can cure 
The sick by name alone, 'tis sure. 

To brave and wise what land is strange. 

Or native? Whatsoever change 

Befall, he makes the land his own 

By strength of valiant arm alone: 

The lion's whim is jungle law 

By strength of tooth and tail and claw; 

He slaughters elephants for food. 

And slakes his servants' thirst with blood. 

"Therefore, my dear fellow, we must always be 
energetic. Where will money feel at home, or 
pleasures? You know the saying: 

As frogs will find a drinking-hole. 

Or birds a brimming lake, 
So friends and money seek a man 

Whose vigor does not break. 

From another point of view: 

The goddess Fortune seeks as home 
The brave and friendly man. 


The grateful, righteous soul who does 

Each moment what he can. 
Who regulates a sturdy life 

Upon an active plan. 

Or, put it this way: 

The brave, wise, hopeful, and persistent. 
From tricks, freaks, meanness equidistant — 

If such there be. 

And Fortune flee. 
The joke on Fortune falls, insistent. 

While, on the other hand: 

If man be fatalist and slacker. 
Irresolute and sang-froid lacker. 
Him Fortune — as a bouncing miss 
Her aged lover — hates to kiss. 

Abysmal learning does not aid 
To virtue those who are afraid: 
As men with lamps no sooner find 
Lost objects, if those men are blind. 

The prince becomes a beggar; 

By weak are slayers slain; 
The beggar ceases begging; 

When fate revolves again. 

"Nor must you, in view of the aphorism. 

Since teeth and nails and men and hair. 
If out of place, are ugly there 

draw the coward's conclusion: 

Let no man leave his native place. 

"For to the competent there is no distinction be- 
tween native and foreign land. You must have heard 
the saying: 


Brave, learnM, fair, 

Where'er they roam, 
Without delay 

Are quite at home. 

The shrewdly valiant on the earth 
Will always master money's worth; 
Not those of godlike scholarship — 
'Tis certain — if they lose their grip. 

"Today, no doubt, your purse is light. For all 
that, you are not in the position of the commonplace 
fellow, for you have sense and vigor. And the proverb 


Let sturdy resolution guide, 

And poor men touch the peak of pride; 

Let money fold in its embrace 

The mean, they sink to lowly place: 

The lion's majesty derives 

From nature, rich because he strives 

To crown his feats with nobler feats. 

What golden-collared dog competes? 

And again: 

Some men compacted of self-rigor 
With valor, enterprise, and vigor 
Indifferently view the muddle 
Of ocean and the petty puddle; 
As at some wretched ant-hill, frown 
At Himalaya's highest crown: 
To these, not those who wait and see. 
Comes Fortune, tripping eagerly. 

And once more: 

Mount Mem is not very high. 
Hell is not very low. 


The sea not shoreless, if a man 
Abounding vigor show. 

For, after all: 

Why, wealthy, pufF with pride? 
Why, poor, in gloom subside ? 
Since, like a stricken ball. 
Men's fortunes rise and fall. 

In any case, remember that youth and wealth are un- 
stable as water-bubbles. As the saying goes: 

With shadows of the passing cloud. 

New grain, and knavish friends. 
With women's love, and youth, and wealth. 

Enjoyment quickly ends. 

This being so, if an intelligent man catches slippery 
money, let him make it fruitful, by giving it away or 
enjoying it. As the proverb tells us: 

The coin that cost a hundred toils, 

That men are wont to cherish 
Beyond their life, will, if it be 

Not given to others, perish. 

And again: 

Bestow, or use your wealth for pleasure; 
If not, you hoard another's treasure: 
As in your home, your lovely girl 
Awaits a stranger — his dear pearl. 

And once again: 

The miser for another hoards 

His' bags of needless money: 
The bees laboriously pack. 

But others taste the honey. 


In any event, fate has the last word. As the proverb 
puts it: 

In weapon-bristling battle or at home, 
In flaming fire, wild cave, or monstrous sea. 

Among thanatophidian fangs elate. 
The to-be is, is not the not-to-be. 

Now you are healthy and enjoy peace of mind. This 
is the supreme possession. As the saying goes: 

The lord of seven continents. 

Beset by crawling greed. 
Is but a beggar; he who lives 

G>ntent, is rich indeed. 

Besides, on this earth 

No treasure equals charity; 

Content is perfect wealth; 
No gem compares with character; 

No wish fulfilled, with health. 

Nor must you think: 'How can I survive, having lost 
my possessions?' For money passes away, man's 
character abides. There is a proverb to fit the case: 

The noble man, indeed, may fall 
To earth — like an elastic ball; 
The coward who drops is down to stay. 
Is flattened like a ball of clay. 

But why bore you? Here is the nub of duty. Certain 

men are born to enjoy the pleasures that money 

brings, certain others are born money's guardians. 

There is a verse about it: 

Your wealth wiU flee, 
If fate decree, 


Though it was fairly earned: 

So silly Soft, 

When perched aloft 
In that great forest, learned." 

"How was that?" asked Gold. And Slow told the 
story of 


In a certain town lived a weaver. His name was 
Soft, and he spent his time making garments dyed 
in various patterns, fit for such people as princes. But 
for all his labors, he could not collect a bit of money 
beyond food and clothes. Yet he saw other weavers, 
who made coarse fabrics, rolling in wealth, and he 
said to his wife: "Look at these fellows, my dear. 
They make coarse stuff, but they earn heaps of 
money. This city does not offer me a decent living. 
I am going to move." 

/'Oh, my dear," said his wife, "it is a mistake to 
say that money comes to those who travel. There is 
a proverb: 

What shall not be, will never be; 
What shall be, follows painlessly: 
The thing your fingers grasp, will flit. 
If fate has predetermined it. 

And again: 

A calf can find its mother cow 

Among a thousand kine: 
So good or evil done, returns 

And whispers: 'I am thine.' 


And once again: 

As shade and sunlight interbreed. 
So twined are Doer and his Deed. 

So stay here and mind your business." 

"You are mistaken, my dear," said he. "No deed 

comes to fruition without efFort. There is a proverb: 

You cannot clap a single hand; 
Nor, efFordess, do what you planned. 

And again: 

Although, at meal-time, fate provide 

A richly loaded plate, 
No food will reach the mouth, unless 

The hand co-operate. 

And once again: 

Through work, not wishes, every plan 

Its full fruition reaps: 
No deer walk down the lion's throat 

So long as lion sleeps. 

And one last quotation: 

Suppose he gave the best he had. 

Yet no fruition came, 
'Twas fate that blocked his efforts, not 

The man who was to blame. 

I must go to another country." So he went to Grow- 
ing City, stayed three years, and started home with 
savings of three hundred gold-pieces. 

In mid-journey, he found himself in a great forest 
when the blessed sun went to rest. So, forethoughtful 
for his safety, he climbed upon a stout branch of a 


banyan tree and dozed. In the middle of the night, as 
he slept, he saw two human figures whose eyes were 
bloodshot with fury, and heard them abusing each 

The first of them was saying: "Come now. Doer! 
You know you have, in every possible way, prevented 
this fellow Soft from getting any capital beyond food 
and clothes. So you have no right ever to let him 
have any. Why did you give him three hundred gold- 

"Now, Deed!" said the other, "I am constrained 
to give the enterprising a reward in proportion to their 
enterprise. The final consequence is your affair. Take 
it from him yourself." On hearing this. Soft awoke 
and looked for his bag of gold. 

When he found it empty, he thought: "Oh, dear! 
It was so much trouble to earn the money, and it went 
in a flash. I have had my work for nothing. I haven't 
a thing. How can I look my wife in the face, or my 
friends?" So he made up his mind to return to Grow- 
ing City. There he earned five hundred gold-pieces 
in just one single year, and started home again by a 
different road. 

When the sun went down, he came upon the very 
same banyan tree, and he thought: "Oh, oh, oh! 
What is fate up to — damn the brute! Here is that 
same fiendish old banyan tree once more." But he 
dozed oflF on a branch, and saw the same two figures. 

One of them was saying : "Doer, why did you give 


this fellow Soft five hundred gold-pieces? Don't you 
know that he doesn't get a thing beyond food and 

"Friend Deed," said the other, "I am constrained 
to give to the enterprising. The final consequence is 
your affair. So why blame me?" 

When poor Soft heard this, he looked for his bag 
and found It empty. This plunged him into the 
depths of gloom, and he thought: "Oh, dear! What 
good is life to me if I lose my money ? I will just hang 
myself from this banyan tree and say goodbye to life." 

Having made up his mind, he wove a rope of 
spear-grass, adjusted it as a noose to his neck, climbed 
out a branch, fastened it, and was about to let himself 
drop, when one of the figures appeared in the sky and 
said: "Do not be so rash. Friend Soft. I am the per- 
son who takes your money, who does not allow you 
one cowrie beyond food and clothes. Now go home. 
But, that you may not have seen me without result, 
ask your heart's desire." 

"In that case," said Soft, "give me plenty of 
money." "My good fellow," said the other, "what 
will you do with money which you cannot enjoy or 
give away? For you are to have no use of it beyond 
food and clothes." 

But Soft replied: "Even if I get no use of it, still 
I want it. You know the proverb: 

The man of capital. 
Though ugly and base-bom. 


And again: 

Is honored by the world 
For charity forlorn. 

Loose they are, yet tight; 

Fall, or stick, my dear? 
I have watched them now 

Till the fifteenth year." 

"How was that?" asked the figure. And Soft told 
the story of 


In a certain town lived a bull named Hang-Ball. 
From excess of male vigor he abandoned the herd, 
tore the river-banks with his horns, browsed at will 
on emerald-tipped grasses, and went wild in the 

In that forest lived a jackal named Greedy. One 
day he sprawled at ease with his wife on a sandy river- 
bank. At that moment the bull Hang-Ball came down 
to the same stretch of sand for a drink. And the she- 
jackal said to her husband when she saw the hanging 
testicles: "Look, my dear! See how two lumps of 
flesh hang from that bull. They will fall in a moment, 
or a few hours at most. So you must follow him, 

"My dear," said the jackal, "nobody knows. Per- 
haps they will fall some day, perhaps not. Why send 
me on a fool's errand.? I would rather stay here with 
you and eat the mice that come to water. They follow 
this trail. And if I should follow him, somebody else 


would come here and occupy the spot. Better not 
do it. You know the proverb: 

If any leave a certain thing. 
For things uncertain wandering, 
The sure that was, is sure no more; 
What is not sure, was lost before." 

"Come," said she, "you are a coward, satisfied 
with any little thing. You are quite wrong. We al- 
ways ought to be energetic, a man especially. There 
is a saying: 

Depend on energetic might. 
And banish indolence's blight. 
Let enterprise and prudence kiss — 
All luck is yours — it cannot miss. 

And again: 

Let none, content with fate's negation, 

Sink into lazy self-prostration: 

No oil of sesame, unless 

The seeds of sesame you press. 

"And as for your saying: 'Perhaps they will fall, 
perhaps not,' that, too, is wrong. Remember the 

Mere bulk is naught. The resolute 

Have honor sure: 
God brings the plover water. Who 

Dare call him poor? 

"Besides, I am dreadfully tired of mouse-flesh, and 
these two lumps of meat are plainly on the point of 
falling. You must not refuse me." 

So when he had listened to this, he left the spot 


where mice were to be caught and followed Hang- 
Ball. Well, there is wisdom in the saying: 

Only while he does not hear 
Woman's whisper in his ear, 
Goading him against his will. 
Is a man his master still. 

And again: 

In action, should-not is as should. 

In motion, cannot is as can, 
In eating, ought-not is as ought. 

When woman's whispers drive a man. 

So he spent much time wandering with his wife 

after the bull. But they did not fall. At last in the 

fifteenth year, in utter gloom he said to his wife: 

"Loose they are, yet tight; 
Fall, or stick, my dear? 
I have watched them now 
Till the fifteenth year. 

Let us draw the conclusion that they will not fall in 
the future either, and return to the old mouse-trail." 

"And that is why I say: 

Loose they are, yet tight, .... 
and the rest of it. 

"Now anybody as rich as that becomes an object 
of desire. So give me plenty of money." 

"If things stand so," said the figure, "go once more 
to Growing City. There dwell two sons of merchants; 
their names are Penny-Hide and Penny-Fling. When 
you have observed their conduct, you may ask for 


yourself the nature of one or the other." With this 
he vanished, and Soft returned to Growing City, his 
mind in a maze. 

At evening twilight, he wearily inquired for 
Penny-Hide's residence, learned with some trouble 
where it was, and called there. In spite of scoldings 
from the wife, the children, and others, he made his 
way into the courtyard and sat down. Then at 
dinner-time he received food but no kind word, and 
went to sleep there. 

During the night he saw the same two human 
figures holding council. One of them was saying: 
"Come now. Doer! Why are you making extra ex- 
pense for this fellow Penny-Hide, in providing Soft 
with a meal?" 

And the second replied: "Friend Deed, it is no 
fault of mine. I am constrained to attend to acquisi- 
tion and expenditure. But their final consequence is 
your affair." Now when the poor fellow awoke, he 
had to fast because Penny-Hide was in the second day 
of a cholera attack. 

So Soft left that house and went to Penny-Fling's, 
who showed him much honor, greeting him cordially 
and providing food, garments, and the like. In his 
house Soft rested in a comfortable bed, and in the 
night he saw the same two figures taking counsel to- 
gether. One of them was saying: "Come now, Doer! 
This fellow Penny-Fling is at no little expense today, 
entertaining Soft. So how will he pay that debt? He 


has drawn everything from the bank." "Friend 
Deed," said the second, "I had to do it. The final 
consequence is your affair." Now at dawn a police- 
man came with money, a favor from the king, and 
gave it all to Penny-Fling. 

When he saw this. Soft thought: "This Penny- 
Fling person, even without any capital, is a better 
kind of thing than that scaly old Penny-Hide. The 
proverb is right: 

The Scriptures' fruit is pious homes; 
Right conduct, that of learnM tomes; 
Wives fructify in joy and son; 
And money's fruit is gifts and fun. 

"So may the blessed Lord of All make me a person 
whose money goes in gifts and fun. I see no good in 

So the Lord of All took him at his word, making 
him that kind of person. 

"And that is why I say: 

Your wealth will flee. 
If fate decree, .... 

and the rest of it. Therefore, my dear friend Gold, 
recognize the facts and feel no uneasiness in the de- 
partment of finance. You know the proverb: 

A lofty soul, in days of power. 
Is tender as a lotus-flower; 
But, meeting misadventure's shock. 
Grows hard as Himalayan rock. 


And again: 

The goal desiderating powers at strain, 
Is reached by listless sleepers with no pain: 
Though panting life go struggling ceaselessly, 
The to-be is, is not the not-to-be. 

And once again: 

Why think and think without relief? 
Why weight the mind with aimless grief? 
All finds fulfilment, soon or late, 
If written on the brow by fate. 

Or put it this way: 

From distant island, central sea. 

Or far horizon's brink. 
Fate brings and links its wilful whims. 

Before a man can wink. 

Or this way: 

Fate links the unlinked, unlinks links; 
It links the things that no man thinks. 

All life, unwilling, faces its 

Unbidden doom — 
Some ill, no doubt, but blessings, too — 

Why sink in gloom? 

And yet again: 

Courageous, cultivated minds 

Their fate would supervise; 
But linked causation masters them. 

And makes it otherwise. 

And He who made the parrots green, 
But made the king-swans white. 

And peacocks particolored. He 
Will order us aright. 


There is great wisdom in the old story: 

Within a basket tucked away 
In slow starvation's grim decay, 
A broken-hearted serpent lay. 

But see the cheerful mouse that gnaws 

A hole, and tumbles in his jaws 

At night — new hope's unbidden cause! 

Now see the serpent, sleek with meat. 
Who hastens through the )\o\i, to beat 
From quarters cramped, a glad retreat! 

So fuss and worry will not do; 

For fate is somehow muddling through 

To good or bad for me and you. 

"Adopt this point of view, and give some atten- 
tion to ultimate salvation. There is a verse about 
that, too: 

Let some small rite — vow, fasting, self-control — 
Be daily pracdced with a quiet soul; 
For fate chips daily from our days to be, 
Though panting life go struggling ceaselessly. 

"This being so, contentment is always wise: 

Gjntentment's nectar-draught supphes 
The quiet joy that satisfies; 
How can the money-maddened know 
That joy in bustlings to and fro? 

And once again: 

No penance like forbearance; 

No pleasure like content; 
No friend like gifts; no virtue 

Like hearts on mercy bent. 


• "But why bore you with a sermon? In this place 
you are at home. Pray divest yourself of disturbing 
worries, and spend your time in friendship with me." 
Now when Swift had listened to these observations 
of Slow, set off as they were with the inner truth of 
numerous authoritative works, his face blossomed, 
his heart was satisfied, and he said: "Slow, my dear 
fellow, you are good. Your virtue is something to 
rely on. For in the act of offering this comfort to 
Gold, you have brought perfect satisfaction to my 
heart. As the proverb puts it: 

They taste the best of bliss, are good. 

And find life's truest ends. 
Who, glad and gladdening, rejoice 

In love, with loving friends. 

And again: 

The richest man is penniless, 
A living naught, a vain distress, 
If greed, true wealth destroying, bends 
His soul to lack the charm of friends. 

"Now by means of this first-class advice you have 
rescued our poor friend, sunk in the sea of wretched- 
ness. After all, it is quite in the nature of things: 

The good forever save the good. 

When dull misfortunes clog: 
For only elephants can drag 

Their comrades from the bog. 

And again: 

No man deserves the praise of men, 
Nor meets the vow of virtue, when 


The poor or suppliant from him go 
Averted, sunk in hopeless woe. 

Yes, there is wisdom in this: 

What manhood is there, making not 

The sad, secure? 
What wealth is that, availing not 

To aid the poor? 
What sort of act, performed without 

Good consequence? 
What kind of life, that glory feels 

To be offense?" 

While they were conversing thus, a deer named 
Spot arrived, panting with thirst and quivering for 
fear of hunters' arrows. On seeing him approach. 
Swift flew into a tree, Gold crept into a grass-clump, 
and Slow sought an asylum in the water. But Spot 
stood near the bank, trembling for his safety. 

Then Swift flew into the air, inspected the terrain 
for the distance of a league, then settled on his tree 
again, and called to Slow: "Slow, my dear fellow, 
come out, come out! No evil threatens you here. I 
have inspected the forest minutely. There is only this 
deer who has come to the lake for water." Thereupon 
all three gathered as before. 

Then, out of friendly feeling toward a guest. Slow 
said to the deer: "My good fellow, drink and bathe. 
Our water is of excellent quality, and cool." And Spot 
thought, after meditating on this invitation: "Not 
the slightest danger threatens me from these. And 


this because a turtie has no capacity for mischief 
when out of water, while mouse and crow feed only 
on what is dead. So I will make one of their com- 
pany." And he joined them. 

Then Slow bade him welcome and did the honors, 
saying: "I trust your circumstances are happy. Pray 
tell us how you happened into this neck of the 
woods." And Spot replied: "I am weary of a life 
without love. I have been hard pressed on every side 
by mounted grooms and dogs and hunters. But fear 
lent speed, I left them all behind, and came here to 
drink. Now I am desirous of your friendship." 

Upon hearing this. Slow said: "We are little of 
body. It is unnatural for you to make friends with us. 
One should make friends with those capable of re- 
turning favors." But Spot rejoined: 

"Better with the learnM dwell, 
Even though it be in hell 
Than with vulgar spirits roam 
Palaces that gods call home. 

"And since you know that one little of body may 
be of no little consequence, why these self-deprecia- 
tory remarks.? Yet after all, such speech is becoming 
to the excellent. I therefore insist that you make 
friends with me today. There is a good old saying: 

Make friends, make friends, however strong 

Or weak they be: 
Recall the captive elephants 

That mice set free." 


"How was that?" asked Slow. And Spot told the 
story of 


There was once a region where people, houses, and 
temples had fallen into decay. So the mice, who were 
old settlers there, occupied the chinks in the floors 
of stately dwellings with sons, grandsons (both in the 
male and female line), and further descendants as 
they were born, until their holes formed a dense 
tangle. They found uncommon happiness in a variety 
of festivals, dramatic performances (with plots of 
their own invention), wedding-feasts, eating-parries, 
drinking-bouts, and similar diversions. And so the 
time passed. 

But into this scene burst an elephant-king, whose 
retinue numbered thousands. He, with his herd, had 
started for the lake upon information that there was 
water there. As he marched through the mouse com- 
munity, he crushed faces, eyes, heads, and necks of 
such mice as he encountered. 

Then the survivors held a convention. "We are 
being killed," they said, "by these lumbering ele- 
phants — curse them! If they come this way again, 
there will not be mice enough for seed. Besides: 

An elephant will kill you, if 
He touch; a serpent if he sniflF; 
King's laughter has a deadly sting; 
A rascal kills by honoring. 


Therefore let us devise a remedy effective in this 

When they had done so, a certain number went 
to the lake, bowed before the elephant-king, and said 
respectfully: "O King, not far from here is our com- 
munity, inherited from a long line of ancestors. There 
we have prospered through a long succession of sons 
and grandsons. Now you gentlemen, while coming 
here to water, have destroyed us by the thousand. 
Furthermore, if you travel that way again, there will 
not be enough of us for seed. If then you feel com- 
passion toward us, pray travel another path. Con- 
sider the fact that even creatures of our size will some 
day prove of some service." 

And the elephant-king turned over in his mind 
what he had heard, decided that the statement of the 
mice was entirely logical, and granted their request. 

Now in the course of time a certain king com- 
manded his elephant-trappers to trap elephants. And 
they constructed a so-called water-trap, caught the 
king with his herd, three days later dragged him out 
with a great tackle made of ropes and things, and 
tied him to stout trees in that very bit of forest. 

When the trappers had gone, the elephant-king 
reflected thus: "In what manner, or through whose 
assistance, shall I be delivered?" Then it occurred to 
him: "We have no means of deliverance except those 

So the king sent the mice an exact description of 


his disastrous position in the trap through one of his 
personal retinue, an elephant-cow who had not ven- 
tured into the trap, and who had previous informa- 
tion of the mouse community. 

When the mice learned the matter, they gathered 
by the thousand, eager to return the favor shown 
them, and visited the elephant herd. And seeing 
king and herd fettered, they gnawed the guy-ropes 
where they stood, then swarmed up the branches, 
and by cutting the ropes aloft, set their friends 

"And that is why I say: 

Make friends, make friends, however strong, .... 

and the rest of it." 

When Slow had listened to this, he said: "Be it 
even so, my dear fellow. Have no feac» In this place 
you are at home. Pray dismiss anxieties and behave 
as in your own dwelling." So they all took food and 
recreation at such hours as suited each, met at the 
noon hour in the shade of crowding trees beside the 
broad lake, and spent their time in reciprocated 
friendship, discussing a variety of masterly works on 
religion, economics, and similar subjects. And this 
seems quite natural: 

For men of sense, good poetry 

And science will suffice: 
The time of dunderheads is spent 

In squabbling, sleep, and vice. 


And again: 

Will fill 

The wisest heart. 
When flow 
Bons mots 

Composed with art. 
Though fe- 
Males be 

Removed apart. 

Now one day Spot failed to appear at the regular 
hour. And the others, missing him, alarmed also by 
an evil omen that appeared at that moment, drew 
the conclusion that he was in trouble, and could not 
keep up their spirits. Then Slow and Gold said to 
Swift: "Dear fellow, we two are prevented by loco- 
motive limitations from hunting for our dear friend. 
We beg you, therefore, to hunt about and learn 
whether the poor fellow is eaten by a lion, or singed 
by forest fire, or fallen into the power of hunters and 
such creatures. There is a saying: 

One quickly fears for loved ones who 

In pleasure-gardens play: 
What, then, if they in forests grim 

And peril-bristling stay? 

By all means go, search out precise news concerning 
Spot, and return quickly." 

On hearing this. Swift flew a little distance to the 
edge of a swamp, and finding Spot caught in a stout 
trap braced with pegs of acacia-wood, he sorrowfully 
said: "My dear friend, how did you fall into this dis- 


tress?" "My friend," said Spot, "there is no time for 
delay. Listen to me. 

When Ufe is near an end. 
The presence of a friend 
Brings happiness, allying 
The living with the dying. 

Oh, pardon any expressions of friendly impatience I 
may have used in our discussions. Likewise, say to 
Gold and Slow in my name: 

If any ugly word 
Was willy-nilly heard, 
I pray you both, forgive — 
Let only friendship live." 

On hearing this. Swift replied: "Feel no fear, my 
dear fellow, while you have friends like us. I will re- 
turn with all speed, bringing Gold to cut your bonds." 

Thereupon, with his heart in a flutter, he found 
Slow and Gold, explained the nature of Spot's cap- 
tivity, then returned to Spot, carrying Gold in his 
beak. Gold, for his part, on seeing the plight of his 
friend, sorrowfully said: "My dear fellow, you al- 
ways had a wary mind and a shrewd eye. How, then, 
did you fall into this dreadful captivity?" 

And Spot rejoined: "Why ask, my friend? Fate, 
you know, does what it will. As the saying goes: 

What mortal flies 
(However wise) 
When billows rise 
To fatal size 
On seas of woe? 


In dead of night, 
Or broad daylight, 
Grim fate may smite; 
Ah, who can fight 
An unseen foe? 

You, my saintly friend, are familiar with the caprices 
of constraining destiny. Therefore be quick. Cut my 
bonds before the pitiless hunter comes." 

"Have no fear," said Gold, "while I am at your 
side. In my heart, however, is great sorrow, which I 
beg you to remove by telling your story. You are 
guided by an eye of wisdom. How did you fall into 
this captivity?" 

"Well," said Spot, "if you insist on knowing, 
listen, and learn how I have been made captive a 
second time, having once before suffered the woes of 

"Tell me," said Gold, "how once before you suf- 
fered the woes of captivity. I am eager to learn the 
full detail." And Spot told the story of 


Long ago, when I was six months old, I used to 
gambol in front of all the rest, as a youngster does. 
Out of sheer spirits I would run far ahead, then wait 
for the herd. Now we deer have two gaits, called the 
Jump-Up and the Straightaway. Of these I knew the 
Straightaway, but not the Jump-Up. 

While amusing myself one day, I lost touch with 
the herd. At this I was dreadfully worried, gazed 


"Thus, though having suffered a previous cap- 
tivity, I am caught again through constraining des- 

At this moment Slow joined them. For his heart 
was so full of love for his friend that he had followed, 
leaving grass, shrubs, and spear-grass crushed behind 
him. At sight of him, they were more distressed than 
ever, and Gold became their spokesman. "My dear 
fellow," said he, "you have done wrong in leaving 
your fortress to come here, since you are not able to 
save yourself from the hunter, while on us he cannot 
lay hands. For when the bonds are cut and the hunter 
stands near. Spot will bound away and disappear. 
Swift will fly into a tree, while I, being a little fellow, 
will find some chink to slide into. But what will you 
do, when within his reach?" 

To this Slow listened, but he said: "Oh, do not 
blame me, you of all people. For 

The loss of love and loss of wealth 

Who could endure 
But for restoratives of health 

In friendship sure? 

And again: 

The days when meetings do not fail 

With wise and good 
Are lovely clearings on the trail 

Through life's wild wood. 

The heart finds rest in telling things 
(When troubles toss) 


To honest wife, or friend who clings, 
Or kindly boss. 

Ah, my dear fellow, 

The wistful glances wander, 
The wits, bewildered, ponder 
In good men separated. 
Whose love is unabated. 

And more than that: 

Better lose your life than friends; 
Life returns when this life ends, 
Not the sympathy that blends." 

At this moment the hunter arrived, bow and arrow 
in hand. Under his very eyes Gold cut the bonds and 
slipped into the before-mentioned chink. Swift flew 
into the air and was gone. Spot darted away. 

Now when the hunter saw that the deer's bonds 
had been cut, he was filled with amazement and 
said: "Under no circumstances do deer cut their own 
bonds. It was through fate that a deer has done it." 
Then he spied a turtle on most improbable terrain, 
and with mixed feelings he said: "Even if the deer, 
with fate's help, cut his bonds and escaped, still I've 
got this turtle. As the saying goes: 

Nothing comes, of all that walks. 

All that flies to heaven. 
All that courses o'er the earth. 

If it be not given." 

After this meditation, the hunter cut spear-grass 
with his knife, wove a stout rope, tied the turtle's feet 


tightly together, fastened the rope to his bow-tip, 
and started home. But when Gold saw his friend 
borne away, he sorrowfully said: "Ah, me! Ah, me! 

No sooner sorrow's ocean-shore 
I reach in safety, than once more 
A bitter sorrow is my lot: 
Misfortunes crowd the weakest spot. 

Fresh blows are dreadful on a wound; 
Food fails, and hunger-pangs abound; 
Woes come, old enmities grow hot: 
Misfortunes crowd the weakest spot. 

One walks at ease on level ground 

Till one begins to stumble; 
Let stumbling start, and every step 

Is apt to bring a tumble. 

And besides: 

Tis hard to find in life 
A friend, a bow, a wife. 
Strong, supple to endure. 
In stock and sinew pure. 
In time of danger sure. 

False friends are common. Yes, but where 
True nature links a friendly pair. 
The blessing is as rich as rare. 

To bitter ends 
You trust true friends. 
Not wife nor mother, 
Not son nor brother. 

No long experience alloys 

True friendship's sweet and supple joys; 


No evil men can steal the treasure; 
Tis death, death only, sets a measure. 

"Ah, what is this fate that smites me ceaselessly? 
First came the loss of property; then humiliations 
from my own people, the result of poverty; because 
of gloom thereat, exile; and now fate prepares for me 
the loss of a friend. As the proverb says: 

In truth, I do not grieve though riches flee; 
I Some lucky chance will bring them back to me: 

Tis this that hurts me — lacking riches' stay. 
The best of friends relax and fall away. 

And again: 

Fate's artful linkage since my birth 
Of evil deeds and deeds of worth 
Pursues me on this present earth 

Till states of mind that play and sway 
And change and range from day to day. 
Seem lives that strive and pass away. 

Ah, there is only too much wisdom in this: 

The body, born, is near its doom; 
And riches are the source of gloom; 
All meetings end in partings: yes, 
The world is all one brittleness. 

"Ah, me! Ah, me! The loss of my friend is death 

to me. What care I even for my own people? As the 

saying goes: 

A foe of woe and pain and fear, 

A cup of trust and feelings dear, 

A pearl — who made it? Who could blend 

Six letters in that name of friend? 


Oh, friendly meetings! 

O joy to which the righteous cling. 
Machine that answers love's sole string, 
Pure happiness in every breath, 
Cut short by one stern exile — Death! 

And once again: 

Pleasant riches; friendship's course 

In familiar ruts; 
Enmities of men of sense — 

Death abrupdy cuts. 

And one last word: 

If birth and death did not exist 
Nor age nor fear of loved ones missed. 
If all were not so quick to perish. 
Whose life were not a thing to cherish?" 

While Gold recited these grief-stricken sentences. 
Spot and Swift joined him and united their lamenta- 
tions with his. And Gold said to them: "So long as 
our dear Slow is within sight, so long we have a chance 
to save him. Leave us. Spot. You must slip past the 
hunter unobserved, drop to earth somewhere near 
water, and pretend to be dead. Swift, you must 
spread your claws in the cagework of Spot's horns, 
and pretend to peck out his eyes. Then that dreadful 
beast of a hunter, in the greedy belief that he has 
found a dead deer, will certainly wish to seize him, 
will throw the turtle on the ground, and hurry up. 
When his back is turned, I for my part will in a mere 


twinkling set Slow free to seek refuge in the water 
near by, his natural fortress. I myself will slide into 
a grass-clump. You, furthermore, must plan a second 
escape when the beast of a hunter is upon you." So 
they put this plan into practice. 

Now when the hunter saw a deer as good as dead 
beside the water, and noticed that a crow was peck- 
ing at him, he joyfully threw the turtle on the ground, 
and ran for a club. As soon as Spot could tell from 
the tramp of feet that the hunter was close upon him, 
with a supreme burst of speed he swept into dense 
forest. Swift flew into a tree. The turtle, his fetter- 
ing cord cut by Gold, scrambled to shelter in the 
water. Gold slipped into a grass-clump. 

To the hunter it seemed a conjurer's trick. 
"What does it mean ?" he cried in his disappointment. 
Then he returned to the spot where he had left the 
turtle, and saw the cord cut in a hundred pieces no 
longer than a finger's breadth. Then he perceived 
that the turtle had vanished like a magician, and 
anticipated danger for his own person. With troubled 
heart he made all speed out of the wood for home, 
casting anxious glances at the horizon. 

Meanwhile the four friends, free of all injury, came 
together, expressed their mutual affection, took a new 
lease on life, and lived happily. And so 

If beasts enjoy so great a prize 

Of friendship, why should wonder rise 

In men, who are so very wise? 


Here ends Book II, called "The Winning of 
Friends." The first verse runs: 

The deer and turtle, mouse and crow 
Had first-rate sense and learning; so. 
Though money failed and means were few. 
They quickly put their purpose through. 


Here, then, begins Book III, called "Crows and 
Owls," which treats of peace, war, and so forth. The 
first verse runs: 

Reconciled although he be. 

Never trust an enemy. 

For the cave of owls was burned. 

When the crows with fire returned. 

"How was that?" asked the princes, and Vish- 
nusharman told the following story. 

In the southern country is a city called Earth- 
Base. Near it stands a great banyan tree with count- 
less branches. And in the tree dwelt a crow-king 
named Cloudy with a countless retinue of crows. 
There he made his habitation and spent his time. 

Now a rival king, a great owl named Foe-Crusher, 
had his fortress and his habitation in a mountain 
cave, and he had an unnumbered retinue of owls. 
This owl-king cherished a grudge, so that whenever 
he met a crow in his airings, he killed him and passed 
on. In this way his constant aggression gradually 
spread rings of dead crows about the banyan tree. 
Nor is this surprising. For the proverb says: 



If you permit disease or foe 

To march unheeded, you may know 

That death awaits you, sure if slow. 

Now one day Cloudy summoned all his counselors 
and said: "Gentlemen, as you are aware, our enemy 
is arrogant, energetic, and a judge of occasions. He 
always comes at nightfall to work havoc in our ranks. 
How, then, can we counter-attack? For we do not see 
at night, and in the daytime we cannot discover his 
fortress. Otherwise, we might go there and strike a 
blow. What course, then, shall we adopt? There are 
six possibilities — peace, war, change of base, en- 
trenchment, alliances, and duplicity." 

And they replied: "Your Majesty does well to 
put this question. For the saying goes: 

Good counselors should tell their king. 
Unasked, a profitable thing; 

If asked, they should advise. 
While flatterers who shun the true 
(Which in the end is wholesome, too) 

Are foemen in disguise. 

Therefore it is now proper to confer in secret session." 
Then Cloudy started to consult severally his five 
ancestral counselors, whose names were Live-Again, 
Live-Well, Live-Along, Live-On, and Live-Long. And 
first of all he questioned Live-Again: "My worthy 
sir, what is your opinion under the circumstances?" 
And Live-Again replied: "O King, one should not 
make war with a powerful enemy. And this one is 


powerful and knows when to strike. Therefore make 
peace with him. For the saying goes: 

Bow your head before the great. 

Lifting it when times beseem, 
And prosperity will flow 

Ever onward, like a stream. 

And again: 

Make your peace with powerful foes 
Who are rich and good and wise. 

Who are seasoned conquerors. 
In whose home no discords rise. 

Make your peace with wicked men. 

If your life endangered be; 
Life, itself first made secure. 

Gives the realm security. 

And again: 

Make your peace with him whose wont 

'Tis to conquer in a fight; 
Other foes will bend their necks 

To you, fearful of his might. 

Even with equals make your peace; 

Victory is often given 
Whimsically; take no risks — 

Says the current saw in heaven. 

Even with equals victory 

Whimsically may alight. 
Try three other methods first; 

Only in extremis fight. 

And yet again: 

See! The bully to whose soul 
Power is all, and peace is not. 


Clashing with an equal foe. 
Crumbles like an earthen pot. 

Land and friends and gold at most 
Have been won when battles cease; 

If but one of these should f^l. 
It is best to live in peace. 

When a lion digs for moles 
Hiding in their pebbly house. 

He is apt to break his nails. 
And at best he gets a mouse. 

Therefore, where no prize is won 
And a healthy fight is sure. 

Never stir a quarrel, but 

Whatsoe'er the cost, endure. 

By a stronger foe assailed. 
Bend as bends the river reed; 

Do not strike, as serpents do. 
If you wish your luck to speed. 

Imitators of the reed 

Slowly win to glory's peak; 

But the luckless serpent-men 
Only earn the death they seek. 

Shrink like turtles in their shells. 
Taking blows if need there be; 

Raise your head from time to time 
Like the black snake, warily. 

To sum it up: 

Never struggle with the strong 
(If you wish to know my mind) 

Who has ever seen a cloud 
Ba£9e the opposing wind?" 


Having heard this view, the king said to Live- 
Well: "My worthy sir, I desire to hear your opinion 
also." And Live-Well said: "O King, I disagree. 
Inasmuch as the enemy is cruel, greedy, and unprinci- 
pled, you should most certainly not make peace with 
him. For the proverb says: 

With foes unprincipled and false 
'Tis vain to seek accommodation: 

Agreements bind them not; and soon 
They show a wicked transformation. 

Therefore you should, in my judgment, fight with 
him. You know the saying: 

'Tis easy to uproot a foe 

Contemning fighters, never steady. 

Cruel and greedy, slothful, false. 
Foolish and fearful and unready. 

"But more than this — ^we have been humiliated by 
him. Therefore, if you propose peace, he will be angry 
and will employ violence again. There is a saying: 

The truculence of fevered foes 

By gentle measures is abetted: 
What wise physician tries a douche? 

He knows that fever should be sweated. 

Conciliation simply makes 
A foeman's indignation splutter. 

Like drops of water sprinkled on 
A briskly boiling pan of butter. 

Besides, the previous speaker's point about the 
strength of the enemy is not decisive. 


The smaller often slays the great 

By showing energy and vigor: 
The lion kills the elephant. 

And rules with unrestricted rigor. 

And more than that: 

Foes indestructible by might 

Are slain through some deceptive gesture. 
As Bhima strangled Kichaka, 

Approaching him in woman's vesture. 

And yet again: 

When kings are merciless as death, 
All foes are quick to knuckle under; 

Quick, too, to kill the kings who fall 
Into compassion's fatal blunder. 

And he whose sun of glory sets 

Before the glory of another 
Is born in vain; he wastes for naught 

The youthful vigor of his mother. 

For Regal Splendor, unbesmeared 
With foemen's blood as rich cosmetic. 

Though dear, is insufficient for 
Ambitions truly energetic. 

And in a kingdom unbedewed 

With foemen's blood in slaughter gory. 

And hostile women's falling tears. 
The king enjoys no living glory." 

Having heard this view, the king put the question 
to Live-Along: "My worthy sir, pray express your 
opinion also." And Live-Along said: "O King, the 
enemy is vicious and powerful and unscrupulous. 


Therefore you should make neither peace nor war 
with him. Only a change of base can be recommend- 
ed. For the saying goes: 

With vicious foemen, proud of power. 

From hindering scruples free. 
Adopt a change of base, not peace 

Nor war, for victory. 

Now change of base is known to be 

No single thing, but twin — 
Retreat, to save imperiled life; 

Invasion, planned to win. 

A warlike and ambitious king 

May choose 'twixt April and 
November — other months are barred — 

To invade the hostile land. 

For storming-parties — so the books 

Prescribe — all times are fair, 
If hostile forces show distress. 

And lay some weakness bare. 

A king should put his realm in charge 

Of heroes strong and fit; 
Then pounce upon the hostile land. 

When spies have peopled it. 

The case in hand requires, O King, 

The base-change called Retreat, 
Not peace nor war; the foe is vile. 

And very hard to beat. 

"Furthermore, a recessive movement is made, 
says the science of ethics, with due regard to cause 
and effect. The point is thus expressed in poetry: 


When rams draw back, their butting fiercer stings; 
The crouching king of beasts more deadly springs: 
So wise dissemblers, holding vengeance sure. 
In dumb communion with their hearts, endure. 

And once again: 

A king, abandoning his realm 

To foes of fighting worth. 
Preserves his life, as Fight-Firm did. 

And later rules the earth. 

And so, to sum it up: 

The weak who, struggling with the strong. 

Are not too proud to fight, 
Bring great rejoicing to their foes. 

And on their kinsmen, blight. 

"Therefore, since you are engaged with a powerful 
foe, there is occasion for a change of base. It is no 
time for peace or war." 

When he had listened to this view, the king said 
to Live-On: "My worthy sir, pray express your opin- 
ion also." And Live-On said: "O King, I disapprove 
of peace, war, and change of base, all three of them; 
and particularly change of base. For 

A crocodile at home 

Can beat an elephant; 
But if he goes abroad, 

A dog can make him pant. 

And again: 

When stronger foes attack. 
Close in your fortress stay; 

But sally to relieve 
Your friends, and save the day. 


If, panic-struck, you flee 

When foes are at the door. 
And leave the land to them. 

You ne'er will see it more. 

One man, entrenched, can hold 

A hundred foes at bay 
(Strong foes at that), therefore 
In your entrenchment stay. 

Therefore provide your fort 

With shaft and gun; adorn 
It well with moat and wall, 

And store abundant corn. 

Stand ever firm within. 

Resolved to do or die: 
So, living, earn renown; 

Or dead, the starry sky. 

And there is a further consideration: 

The union of the weak 

A powerful bully stumps: 
The hostile blizzard spares 

The shrubs that grow in clumps. 

And single trees, though huge 

And posted for defense. 
May be uprooted by 

The stout wind's violence. 

While groves of trees, where each 

Receives and gives defense. 
Unitedly defy 

The wind's fierce violence. 


Just so, one man alone. 

However brave he be, 
Is scorned by foes, who soon 

Proceed to injury." 

Having listened to this view likewise, the king 
said to Live-Long: "My worthy sir, pray express 
your opinion also." And Live-Long said: "O King, 
from among the six possibilities, I recommend alli- 
ance. Pray adopt that. For the saying goes: 

Though deft and brilliant, what good end 
Can you attain without a friend? 
The fire that seems immortal will 
Die when the fanning wind is still. 

"Therefore you should stay at home and seek some 

competent ally, to make a counterweight against the 

enemy. But if you leave home and travel, no one will 

give you so much as a friendly word. For the proverb 


The wind is friend to forest-fire 
And causes it to fiame the higher; 
The same wind blows a candle out. 
Who cares what poor folk are about? 

"Nor is it even essential that the ally be powerful; 

the alliance even of feeble folk makes for defense. You 

know the saying: 

However weak, a bamboo stem 
From others takes, and gives to them 
Strength to resist uprooting: so 
Weak kings unite against a foe. 

"And how much more so, if you have alliance with 
the truly great! For the poet says: 


Who is there whom a fnendly state 
With great folk does not elevate? 
The raindrop, hiding in a curl 
Of lotus-petal, shines like pearl. 

"Thus, O King, there is no counterweight to your 
enemy save in alliance. Therefore let an alliance be 
concluded. Such is my opinion." 

After these opinions had been given, Cloudy 
bowed low before an ancient, farsighted counselor of 
his race. This was a crow who had persevered to the 
last page of every textbook of social ethics, and his 
name was Live-Strong. "Father," said the king, "I 
had a secret purpose in questioning the others in your 
very presence; namely, that you might listen to every- 
thing, and instruct me as to what is fitting. Pray in- 
struct me in the appropriate course of action." 

And Live-Strong said: "My son, all that these 
have proposed is drawn from the textbooks of social 
ethics, and all is highly proper, each course in its own 
good time. But the present hour demands duplicity. 
You have heard the saying: 

You must regard with like distrust 
Both peace and warlike measures; must 
Seek through duplicity your goal. 
With powerful foes of evil soul. 

"In this way those who themselves trust nobody 
and have a single eye to self-interest can win the 
trust of an enemy and easily destroy him. For the 
saying goes: 


Shrewd enemies will cause a foe 
Whom they would ruin, first to grow: 
The flow of mucus by molasses 
Is first increased, but later passes. 

And again: 

To foe, to false friend, to female 
(Particularly her for sale) 
The man so simple as to give 
Straightforward conduct, does not live. 

Proceed in pure straightforwardness 
With Brahmans, with the gods no less. 
With teachers, with yourself; but treat 
All other creatures to deceit. 

A hermit mastering his soul 
May see life simple, see it whole; 
Not those who thirst for carnal things, 
Nor, most particularly, kings. 

And so: 

Strong through duplicity, you will 
Preserve your habitation still; 
For death will prove a friend in need. 
To crush a foe possessed by greed. 

"Furthermore, if a vulnerable point appears in him, 
you will destroy him by being aware of it." 

But Cloudy said: "Father, I do not know his 
residence. So how shall I become aware of a vulner- 
able point?" 

And Live-Strong replied: "My son, through spies 
I will reveal not only his dwelling, but also his vulner- 
able point. For 


Cows see a thing by sense of smell; 
While Scripture serves the Brahman well; 
The king perceives by means of spies: 
And other creatures use their eyes. 

And in this connection there is another saying: 

The king, well served by spies, who knows 
The functionaries of his foes, 
Who knows his retinue no less. 
Is never plunged in deep distress." 

Then Cloudy said: "Father, what are these func- 
tionaries? What is their number? And of what char- 
acter are secret-service men ? Pray tell me all." 

And Live-Strong replied: "On these points the 
sage Narada gave the following information when 
questioned by King Fight-Firm. In the hostile camp 
are eighteen functionaries; in one's own, fifteen. 
Their conduct is discovered by assigning to each 
three secret-service men, by whose efforts both friends 
and enemies are kept in good control. The facts are 
put in a bit of doggerel: 

The foe has eighteen functionaries; 

And you have five and ten: 
Give each, as unknown secretaries. 

Three secret-service men. 

"The term 'functionary' implies a delegated task. 
If this be shamefully performed, it ruins the king; if 
admirably, it brings him high success. 

"Now for details. The functionaries in the hostile 
camp are — the counselor, the chaplain, the com- 
mander-in-chief, the crown prince, the concierge, the 


superintendent of the gyneceum, the adviser, the 
tax-collector, the introducer, the master of cere- 
monies, the director of the stables, the treasurer, the 
minister for elephants, the assessor, the war-minister, 
the minister for fortifications, the favorite, the for- 
ester, and so forth. By sowing intrigue among these 
the enemy is subdued. In one's own camp the func- 
tionaries are — the queen, the queen-mother, the 
chamberlain, the florist, the lord of the bedchamber, 
the chief of the secret service, the star-gazer, the 
court physician, the purveyor of water, the purveyor 
of spices, the professor, the life-guard, the quarter- 
master, the bearer of the royal umbrella, and the 
geisha. It is by way of these that ruin befalls one's 
own party. As the saying goes: 

Professor, star-scout, and physician 
Find flaws within your home position: 
The madman and snake-charmer know 
Points vulnerable in the foe." 

"Father," said Cloudy, "what is the origin of the 

deadly feud between crows and owls?" 

And Live-Strong answered: "Listen. I will tell 



Once upon a time the bird-clans gathered for 
consultation. There were swans and cranes and 
nightingales; there were peacocks, plovers, and owls; 
there were doves and pigeons and partridges; there 
were bluejays, vultures, skylarks; there were demoi- 
selles and cuckoos and woodpeckers and many others. 


And they said: "We have in Garuda a king, to be 
sure. But he is ever intent on serving holy Vishnu, 
and pays no heed to us. What is the good of a sham 
king? He does not defend us when we are in genuine 
distress — ^when we are caught in traps, for instance. 
There is a saying: 

Only one, but anyone 
Is my king, when all is done- 
Only one who will restore 
Health and joy I felt before: 
Anyone, but only one — 
For the moon a single sun. 

"Any other is king only in name. As the poet says: 

Let him calm the panting breath 

Of his people, quivering 
Under blows; or he is Death 

Masquerading as a king. 

And again: 

These six should every man avoid 

Like leaky ships at sea — 
A dull professor; and a priest 

Without theology; 

A king who does not give defense; 

A wife whose tongue can slash; 
A cowboy hankering for town; 

A barber after cash. 

We must therefore pitch upon someone else as king 
of the birds." 

Thereupon, observing that the owl had a vener- 
able appearance, they all said: "Let this owl be our 


king. And let a plentiful supply be provided of all 
substances prescribed for the anointing of a king." 

Straightway water was brought from various holy 
streams; a bouquet of one hundred and eight roots 
was provided, including the one marked with a 
wheel and the yellow-stemmed lotus; and the lion- 
throne was set in place. Moreover, there was drawn 
on the ground a relief map of the seven continents, 
oceans, and mountains. A tiger-skin was spread. 
Golden jars were filled with five twigs, blossoms and 
grains; oblations were prepared; the most eminent 
bards chanted poetry. Furthermore, Brahmans, 
skilled in reciting the four Vedas, also chanted, while 
maidens sang songs, sweet holiday songs being their 
specialty. In the forefront was prepared a vessel of 
consecrated rice set off with white mustard, parched 
grain, rice-grains, yellow pigment, wreaths of flowers, 
conch-shells, and so forth. The materials for lustra- 
tion ceremonies were provided, and holiday drums 
rumbled. In the midst of a consecrated spot strewn 
with potash stood the lion-throne, adorned by the 
person of the owl as he waited the anointing. 

At that moment a crow came into the assembly 
from nobody knew where, announcing his entrance 
with a raucous caw. And he thought: "Well, well! 
What means this gathering of all the birds, and this 
great festival?" 

But when the birds saw him, they whispered to- 
gether: "He is the shrewdest of the birds, they say. 


So let us have a speech from him, too. For the prov- 
erb says: 

Of men, the barber smartest is; 

The jackal, of the beasts; 
The crow is cleverest of birds; 

The White-Robe, of the priests. 

And besides: 

Concerted counsels of the wise. 

If heedfully thought through. 
Will never founder, being sound 

From every point of view." 

So the birds said to the crow: "You know, the 
birds have no king. They have therefore decided 
unanimously to anoint this owl as their supreme 
monarch. Please express your opinion also. You 
come in the nick of time." 

Then the crow laughed and said: "Gentlemen, 
this is foolish. When you have eminent swans, pea- 
cocks, nightingales, partridges, sheldrakes, pigeons, 
cranes, and others, why anoint this ugly-faced fellow 
who is blind in the daytime? It seems wrong to me. 


Big hooked nose, and eyes asquint. 
Ugly face without a hint 
Of tenderness or beauty in 't. 
Good-natured, it is fierce to see; 
If he were mad, what might it be? 

And furthermore: 

Ugly, cruel, fiill of spleen. 
Every word he speaks is mean; 


If you make the owl your king. 
You will fail in everything. 

Besides, when Garuda is your king, what is this fellow 
good for? Suppose he has virtue, still a second king 
is not a good idea when you already have one. For 
the saying runs: 

A single king of lordly sway 

Is good; but more than one will slay. 

Like plural suns on Judgment Day. 

Why, the very name of your genuine king keeps 

others from taking liberties. As the proverb puts it: 

Mere mention of a lordly monarch's name 

To mean men, straightway saves from loss and shame. 

And there is a saying: 

The feigning of a great commission 
Immensely betters your condition: 
Feigning a message from the moon, 
The rabbits dwelt in comfort soon." 

"How was that?" asked the birds. And the crow 


In a part of a forest lived an elephant-king named 
Four-Tusk, who had a numerous retinue of elephants. 
His time was spent in protecting the herd. 

Now once there came a twelve-year drought, so 
that tanks, ponds, swamps, and lakes went dry. Then 
all the elephants said to the lord of the herd: "O 
King, our little ones are so tortured by thirst that 


some are like to die, and some are dead. Pray devise a 
method of removing thirst." So he sent in eight direc- 
tions elephants fleet as the wind to search for water. 

Now those who went east found beside a path 
near a hermitage a lake named Lake of the Moon. It 
was beautiful with swans, herons, ospreys, ducks, 
sheldrakes, cranes, and water-creatures. It was em- 
bowered in flowering sprays of branches drooping 
under the weight of various blossoms. Both banks 
were embellished with trees. It had beaches made 
lovely by sheets of foam born of the splashing of 
transparent waves that danced in the breeze and 
broke on the shore. Its water was perfumed by the 
ichor-juice that oozed from elephant-temples washed 
clean of bees; for these flew up when the lordly crea- 
tures plunged. It was ever screened from the heat o^ 
the sun by hundreds of parasols in the shape of the 
countless leaves of trees on its banks. It gave forth 
deep-toned music from uncounted waves that turned 
aside on meeting the plump legs, hips, and bosoms of 
mountain maidens diving. It was brimming with 
crystal water, and beautified with thickets of water- 
lilies in full bloom. Why describe it? It was a seg- 
ment of paradise. 

When they saw this, they hastened back to report 
to the elephant-king. 

So Four-Tusk, on hearing their report, traveled 
with them by easy stages to the Lake of the Moon. 
And finding a gentle slope all around the lake, the ele- 


phants plunged in, thereby crushing the heads, necks, 
fore-paws and hind-paws of thousands of rabbits who 
long before had made their home on the banks. Now 
after drinking and bathing, the elephant-king with his 
followers departed to his own portion of the jungle. 

Then the rabbits who were left alive held an 
emergency convention. "What are we to do now?" 
said they. "Those fellows — curse their tracks! — 
will come here every day. Let some plan be framed 
at once to prevent their return." 

Thereupon a rabbit named Victory, perceiving 
their terror and their utter woe at the crushing of 
sons, wives, and relatives, said compassionately: 
"Have no fear. They shall not return. I promise it. 
For my guardian angel has granted me this grace." 

And hearing this, the rabbit-king, whose name was 
Block-Snout, said to Victory: "Dear friend, this is 
beyond peradventure. For 

Good Victory knows every fact 
The textbooks teach; knows how to act 
In every place and time. Where he 
Is sent, there comes prosperity. 

And again: 

Speak for pleasure, speak with measure, 
Speak with grammar's richest treasure. 
Not too much, and with reflection — 
Deeds will follow words' direction. 

The elephants, sir, making acquaintance with your 
ripe wisdom, will become aware of my majesty, wis- 


dom, and energy, though I am not present. For the 
proverb says: 

I learn if foreign kings be fools or no 
By their dispatches or their nuncio. 

And there is a saying: 

The envoy binds; he loosens what is bound; 
Through him success in war, if found, is found. 

And if you go, it is as if I went myself. Because, if 

Speak what lies in your commission. 

Speak with careful composition. 

Grammar and good ethics seeking, 

'Tis as if myself were speaking. 

And again: 

This is, in brief, the envoy's care: 

An argument to fit the facts 
And sound results, so far as speech 

May be translated into acts. 

"Depart then, dear friend. And may the office of 
envoy prove a second guardian angel to you." 

So Victory departed and espied the elephant-king 
in the act of returning to the lake. He was surrounded 
by thousands of lordly elephants, whose ears, like 
flowering branches, were swaying in a dignified dance. 
His body was dappled with masses of pollen from his 
couch made of twigs from the tips of branches of 
flowering cassia trees; so that he seemed a laden cloud 
with many clinging lightning-flashes. His trumpeting 
was as deep toned and awe inspiring as the clash of 


countless thunderbolts from which in the rainy season 
piercing flashes gleam. He had the glossy beauty of 
leaves in a bed of pure blue lotuses. His twisting 
trunk had the charm of a perfect snake. His presence 
was that of an elephant of heaven. His two tusks, 
shapely, smooth, and full, had the color of honey. 
Around his entire visage rose a charming hum from 
swarms of bees drawn by the fragrant perfume of the 
ichor-juice that issued from his temples. 

And Victory reflected: "It is impossible for folk 
like me to come too near. Because, as the proverb 

puts it: 

An elephant will kill you if 
He touch; a serpent if he snifF; 
King's laughter has a deadly sting; 
A rascal kills by honoring. 

I must by all odds seek impregnable terrain befoiv 
introducing myself." 

After these reflections, he climbed upon a tall and 
jagged rock-pile before saying: "Is it well with you, 
lord of the two-tusked breed?" And the elephant- 
king, hearing this, peered narrowly about, and sai(? 
"Who are you, sir?" "I am an envoy," said the rab- 
bit. "In whose service?" asked the elephant, and the 
envoy answered: "In the service of the blessed 
Moon." "State your business," said the elephant- 
king, and the rabbit stated it thus. 

"You are aware, sir, that no injury may be done 
an envoy in the discharge of his function. For all 


kings, without exception, use envoys as their mouth- 
pieces. Indeed, there is a proverb: 

Though swords be out and kinsmen fall in strife. 
The king still spares the harsh-tongued envoy's life. 

"Therefore by command of the Moon I say to 
you: 'Why, O mortal, why have you used violence 
upon others, with no true reckoning of your own 
power or your foe's? For the Scripture says: 

All those who madly march to deeds. 
Not reckoning who are masters. 

Themselves or powerful enemies. 
Are asking for disasters. 

"'Now you have sinfully violated the Lake of the 
Moon, known afar by my sacred name. And there 
you have slain rabbits who are under my special 
protection, who are of the race of that rabbit-king 
cherished in my bosom. This is iniquitous. Nay, one 
would think you the only creature in the world who 
does not know the rabbit in the moon. But what is 
gained by much speaking? Desist from such actions, 
or great disaster will befall you at my hands. But 
if from this hour you desist, great distinction will be 
yours; for your body will be nourished by my moon- 
light, and with your companions you shall pursue 
your happy, carefree fancies in this forest. In the 
alternative case, my light shall be withheld, your 
body will be scorched by summer heat, and you with 
your companions will perish.'" 

On hearing this, the elephant-king felt his heart 


stagger, and after long reflection he said: "It is true, 
sir. I have sinned against the blessed Moon. Who 
am I that I should longer contend with him? Pray 
point out to me, and quickly, the way that I must 
travel to win the blessM Moon's forgiveness." 

The rabbit said: "Come, sir, alone. I will point 
it out." So he went by night to the Lake of the Moon, 
and showed him the moon reflected in the water. 
There was the brilliant, quivering disk, of lustrous 
loveliness, surrounded by planets, the Seven Sages, 
and hosts of stars, all dancing in the reflection of 
heaven's broad expanse. And its circle was complete, 
with the full complement of digits. 

Seeing this, the elephant said: "I purify myself 
and worship the deity," and he dropped upon the 
water a trunk that two men's arms might have en- 
circled. Thereby he disturbed the water, the moon's 
disk danced to and fro as if mounted on a whirling 
wheel, and he saw a thousand moons. 

Then Victory started back in great agitation, and 
said to the elephant-king: "Woe, woe to you, O King! 
You have doubly enraged the Moon." The elephant 
said: "For what reason is the blessed Moon angry 
with me?" 

"Because," said Victory, "you have touched this 
water." So the elephant-king, with drooping ears, 
bowed his head to the very earth in deep obeisance, 
in order to win forgiveness from the blessM Moon. 
And he spoke again to Victory: "My worthy sir, in 


all other manners, also, beseech for me the forgiveness 
of the blessM Moon. I shall never return here." 
And with these words he went to his own place. 

"And that is why I say: 

The feigning of a great commission, .... 

and the rest of it. 

"But worse remains behind. The owl is a seedy 
rascal, with a wicked soul. He could never protect 
subjects. Or rather, to say nothing of protection, 
you may anticipate actual danger from him. You 
know the stanza: 

A seedy umpire is not very 
Pleasing to either adversary: 
Rabbit and partridge teach you that — 
They died, confiding in the cat." 

"How was that? Tell us about it," said the birds, 
and the crow told the story of 


At one time I was myself living in a certain tree. 
And beneath the same tree dwelt another bird, a 
partridge. So by virtue of our near neighborhood 
there sprang up between us a firm friendship. Every 
day after taking our meals and airings we spent the 
evening hours in a round of amusements, such as 
repeating witty sayings, telling tales from the old 
story-books, solving puzzles and conundrums, or ex- 
changing presents. 


One day the partridge went foraging with other 
birds to a spot where the rice was ripe and abundant, 
and he did not return at nightfall. Of course, I missed 
him greatly and I thought: "Alas! Why does not my 
friend the partridge come home tonight ? I am much 
afraid he is caught in some trap, or has even been 
killed." And many days passed while I grieved in 
this way. 

Now one evening a rabbit named Speedy made 
himself at home in the partridge's old nest in the hole. 
Nor did I say him nay, for I despaired of seeing the 
partridge again. 

However, one fine day the partridge, who had 
grown extremely plump from eating rice, remembered 
his old home and returned. This, indeed, is not to 
be wondered at. 

No mortal has such joy, although 

In heaven's fields he roam. 
As in his city, in his land, 

And in his humble home. 

Now when he saw the rabbit in the hole, he said 
reproachfully: "Come now, rabbit, you have done a 
shabby thing in occupying my apartment. Please 
begone, and lose no time about it." 

"You fool!" said the rabbit, "don't you know that 
a dwelling is yours only while you occupy it?" "Very 
well, then," said the partridge, "suppose we ask the 
neighbors. For, to give you a legal quotation. 


For ownership of cisterns, tanks, 
Wells, groves, and houses, too, 

The neighbors' testimony goes — 
Such is the legal view. 

And again: 

When house or field or well or grove 

Or land is in dispute, 
A neighbor's testimony is 

Decisive of the suit." 

Then the rabbit said: "You fool! Are you ignor- 
ant of the consecrated tradition which says: 

Suppose beside your neighbor you 

For ten long years abide, 
What weight have learnM arguments? 

Eyewitnesses decide. 

Fool! Fool! Did you never hear the dictum of the 
sage Narada ? 

The title to possession is 

A ten years' habitation 
With men. But with the birds and beasts 

Mere present occupation. 

"Hence, even supposing this apartment to be yours, 
still it was unoccupied when I moved in, and now it is 

"Well, well!" replied the partridge, "if you appeal 
to consecrated tradition, come with me, and we will 
consult the specialists. It shall be yours or mine 
according to their decision." "Very well," said the 
other, and together they started off to have their suit 


decided. I, too, was at their heels, out of curiosity. 
"I will just see what comes of all this," I said to my- 

Now they had not traveled far when the rabbit 
asked the partridge: "My good fellow, who is to 
pass judgment on our disagreement?" And the par- 
tridge answered: "On a sand-bank by the sacred 
Ganges — where there is sweet music from the dancing 
waves that intercross and break when the water is 
swept by nimble breezes — there dwells a tomcat 
whose name is Curd-Ear. He abides unshaken in his 
vow of penance and self-denial, and character has 
begotten compassion." 

But when the rabbit spied the cat, his soul stag- 
gered with terror, and he said: "No, no! He is a 
seedy rascal. You must have heard the proverb: 

Oh, never trust a rogue for all 

His pharisaic puzzling: 
At holy shrines some saints are found 

Quite capable of guzzling." 

Upon hearing this, Curd-Ear, whose manner of 
life had been assumed for the purpose of making an 
easy livelihood, desired to win their confidence. He 
therefore gazed straight at the sun, stood on his hind- 
legs, lifted his fore-paws, blinked his eyes, and in 
order to deceive them by pious sentiments, delivered 
the following moral discourse. "Alas! Alas! All is 
vanity. This fragile life passes in a moment. Union 
with the beloved is an empty dream. Family endear- 


ments are a conjurer's trick. But for the moral law, 
there would be no escape. Oh, listen to Scripture! 

Each transitory day, O man. 

To moral living give; 
Else, like the blacksmith's bellows, you 

Suck air, but do not live. 

And furthermore: 

Non-moral learning is a curse, 

A dog's tail, nothing less. 
That does not save from Hies and fleas, 

Nor cover nakedness. 

And yet again: 

A rotten ear among the wheat. 

Among the birds a bat, 
Is he who spurns the moral law; 

The merest living gnat. 

The flowers and fruit are better than the tree; 
Better than curds is butter said to be; 
Better than oil-cake, oil that trickles free; 
Better than mortal man, morality. 

The praise of constant steadfastness 

Some wise professors sing; 
But moral earnestness is swift. 

Though many fetters cling. 

Forget your prosings manifold; 
The moral law is briefly told: 
To help your neighbor — this is good; 
To injure him is devilhood." 

Having listened to this moral discourse, the rabbit 
said: "Friend partridge, here on the river-bank is 


the saint who expounds the moral law. Let us ask 

But the partridge said: "After all, he is our nat- 
ural enemy. Let us ask him from a distance." So 
together they began to question him : "O holy moral- 
ist, a dispute has arisen between us. Pray give judg- 
ment in accordance with the moral law. And which- 
ever of us is found to speak falsely, him you may eat." 

"Dear friends," said the cat, "I implore you not to 
speak thus. My soul abhors every act of cruelty, 
that street-sign pointing to hell. Surely, you know 
the Scripture: 

The holy first commandment runs — 

Not harsh, but kindly be — 
And therefore lavish mercy on 

Mosquito, louse, and flea. 

Why speak of hurting innocence? 

For he, with purpose fell 
Who injures even noxious beasts. 

Is plunged in ghasdy hell. 

"Nay, even those who slay living creatures in the 
act of sacrifice are befuddled, and their hermeneutic 
theology is at fault. And if you object to me the 
passage, 'One should sacrifice with goats,' in that 
passage the word 'goats* signifies grain that has aged 
seven years. 'Go, oats* — such is the true exegesis. 
And then, consider the passage: 

If he who cuts down trees or catde, 
Or makes a bloody slime in batde. 


Should thereby win to heaven — well. 
Who (let me ask you) goes to hell? 

"No, no. I shall eat nobody. However, I am 
somewhat old and do not readily distinguish your 
voices from a distance. So how am I to determine 
winner and loser? In view of this, pray draw near 
and make me acquainted with the case. Then I can 
pronounce a judgment that discriminates the essence 
of the matter, and thus causes no impediment in my 
march to the other world. You know the stanza: 

If any man, from pride or greed. 

Timidity or wrath, 
Judge falsely, he has set his foot 

On hell's down-sloping path. 

And again: 

Who wrongs a sheep, slays kinsmen five; 

Who wrongs a cow, slays ten; 
A hundred die for maidens wronged; 

A thousand die for men. 

"Therefore confide in me and speak clearly at the 
edge of my ear." 

Why spin it out? That seedy rogue won their 
trust so fully that both drew near him. Then, of 
course, he seized them simultaneously, one with his 
paw, the other with the saw of his teeth. And when 
they were dead, he ate them both. 

"And that is why I say: 

A seedy umpire is not very. . . . 
and the rest of it. 


"Just so, you, too, being blind at night, if you take 
as overlord this seedy fellow who is blind in the day- 
time, will go the way of the rabbit and the partridge. 
Reflect on this, then do what seems proper." 

And all the birds, after listening to the crow's re- 
marks, said: "He speaks well," and they flew to 
their homes, planning to reassemble for consultation 
on the question of a king. Only the owl remained 
with his consort, for he was blind in the daytime. 
There he sat in his chair of state, awaiting the anoint- 
ing. And he called out: "Ho, there! Who takes my 
orders? Why is the ceremony delayed?" 

Thereupon his consort said: "My dear sir, the 
crow has found means to hold up the ceremony. And 
the birds have gone flying away. Only that crow, 
for some reason or other, remains here all alone. Rise 
at once, and I will conduct you home." 

Then the owl was deeply disappointed, and he 
said: "You monster! Why have you wronged me by 
preventing the regal anointing? From this day there 
is enmity between us. For the proverb says: 

When arrows pierce or axes wound 
A tree, it grows together sound; 
From cruel, ugly speech you feel 
A wound that time will never heal." 

Thereupon he went home with his consort, while 
the crow reflected: "Dear me! I have burdened my- 
self with a needless enmity by speaking so. I should 
have remembered: 


All spoken words, if harsh and heedless 
And inappropriate and needless. 
Are self-condemnatory slips 
That turn to poison on the lips. 

And again: 

However wise and strong you be. 
Beware the needless enemy: 
You would not swallow poison down 
Because a doctor lives in town. 

No man of sense vituperates 
Another, while the public waits; 
For even truth should be concealed. 
If causing sorrow when revealed. 

And finally: 

Reflect with many a chosen friend; 
Reflect alone, and to the end; 
Then act. You are intelligent. 
And fame's and wealth's recipient." 

After these reflections, the crow also left the spot. 

"For this cause, my son, we have an inherited 
feud with the crows." 

"Father," said Cloudy, "what should we do under 

the circumstances?" And Live-Strong answered: 

"Even in these circumstances there is an effective 

procedure other than the six expedients. This I will 

adopt, and will myself lead the way to conquer the 

enemy. I will deceive them and put them in a fatal 

situation. For the saying goes: 

The strong, deft, clever rascals note. 
Who robbed the Brahman of his goat." 


"How was that?" asked Cloudy. And Live-Strong 
told the story of 


In a certain town lived a Brahman named Friend- 
ly who had undertaken the labor of maintaining the 
sacred fire. One day in the month of February, when 
a gentle breeze was blowing, when the sky was veiled 
in clouds and a drizzling rain was falling, he went to 
another village to beg a victim for the sacrifice, and 
said to a certain man: "O sacrificer, I wish to make 
an offering on the approaching day of the new 
moon. Pray give me a victim." And the man gave 
him a plump goat, as prescribed in Scripture. This 
he put through its paces, found it sound, placed it 
on his shoulder, and started in haste for his own 

Now on the road he was met by three rogues whose 
throats were pinched with hunger. These, spying the 
plump creature on his shoulder, whispered together: 
"Come now! If we could eat that creature, we should 
have the laugh on this sleety weather. Let us fool 
him, get the goat, and ward off the cold." 

So the first of them changed his dress, issued from 
a by-path to meet the Brahman, and thus addressed 
that man of pious life: "O pious Brahman, why are 
you doing a thing so unconventional and so ridicu- 
lous ? You are carrying an unclean animal, a dog, on 
your shoulder. Are you ignorant of the verse: 


The dog and the rooster, 

The hangman, the ass. 
The camel, defile you: 

Don't touch them, but pass." 

At that the Brahman was mastered by anger, and 
he said: "Are you blind, man, that you impute dog- 
hood to a goat?" "O Brahman," said the rogue, "do 
not be angry. Go whither you will." 

But when he had traveled a little farther, the 
second rogue met him and said: "Alas, holy sir, alas! 
Even if this dead calf was a pet, still you should not 
put it on your shoulder. For the proverb says: 

Touch not unwisely man or beast 

That lifeless lie; 
Else, gifts of milk and lunar fast 

Must purify." 

Then the Brahman spoke in anger: "Are you 
blind, man? You call a goat a calf." And the rogue 
said: "Holy sir, do not be angry. I spoke in ignorance. 
Do as you will." 

But when he had walked only a little farther 
through the forest, the third rogue, changing his 
dress, met him and said: "Sir, this is most improper. 
You are carrying a donkey on your shoulder. Yet the 
proverb tells you: 

If you should touch an ass — be it 

In ignorance or not — 
You needs must wash your clothes and bathe, 

To cleanse the sinful spot. 

Pray drop this thing, before another sees you." 


So the Brahman concluded that it was a goblin in 
quadruped form, threw it on the ground, and made 
for home, terrified. Meanwhile, the three rogues 
met, caught the goat, and carried out their plan. 

"And that is why I say: 

The strong, deft, clever rascals note, .... 

and the rest of it. 

"Moreover, there is sound sense in this: 

Is any man uncheated by 

New servants' diligence. 
The praise of guests, the maiden's tears. 

And roguish eloquence? 

Furthermore, one should avoid a quarrel vnth a 
crowd, though the individuals be weak. As the verse 
puts it: 

Beware the populace enraged; 
A crowd's a fearsome thing: 
The ants devoured the giant snake 
For all his quivering." 

"How was that?" asked Cloudy. And Live- 
Strong told the story of 

In a certain ant-hill lived a prodigious black 
snake, and his name was Haughty. One day, instead 
of following the beaten path out of his hole, he tried 
.to crawl through a narrower crevice. In doing so, he 
suffered a wound, because his body was huge, and the 
opening was small, and fate willed it so. 


Then the ants gathered about him, drawn by the 
odor of blood from the wound, and drove him frantic. 
How many did he kill? Or how many crush? Yet 
their uncounted phalanx stung him in every member, 
and enlarged the numerous wounds. And Haughty 

"And that is why I say: 

Beware the populace enraged, .... 

and the rest of it. 

"Furthermore, O King, I have something to tell 
you, which you must consider, and ponder, and 

"Father," said Cloudy, "tell me what you have in 
mind." And Live-Strong said: "Listen, my son. I 
have discovered a fifth device, different from the 
well-known four — conciliation, intrigue, bribery, and 
fighting. And it is this. You must turn against me, 
revile me with the hardest-hearted words you can 
find, smear me with blood (which you will provide) 
in order to deceive the enemy's spies, throw me out 
at the foot of this banyan tree, and depart yourself 
to Antelope Mountain. And there you must stay 
with your retinue until by clever planning I win the 
trust of all the enemy, discover the heart of their 
fortress, and kill them — for they are blind in the day- 
time. This plan I devised on the assumption that 
their fortress is of simple construction, without egress 
at the rear. For the saying goes: 


A fort must have for egress, say 

The specialists, a gap; 
If this be lacking, it is not 

A fortress, but a trap. 

Nor should you feel any pity for me. For the proverb 

Pet and pamper servants well; 

Love them as you love your life: 
Yet consider them as dry 
Tinder in the hour of strife. 

Nor must you balk me in my design. For once more: 

Cherish servants like yourself; 

Guard them as you guard your life 
Every day for one sole day, 

when you meet your foe in strife." 

With these words he started a sham fight with the 
king. And Cloudy's retinue, seeing Live-Strong 
jabber with unbridled license at the king, started up 
to kill him. But Cloudy said: "Out of my path, you. 
I take upon myself the chastisement of this traitorous 
scoundrel." With this he pounced upon him, pecked 
at him gently, smeared him with blood (which he had 
provided), and departed with his retinue for Antelope 
Mountain, as Live-Strong had recommended. 

At this juncture the owl's consort, acting as spy 
for the enemy, went and reported in detail to the 
owl-king the disgrace of Cloudy's prime minister. 
And the owl-king, informed of the occurrence, started 
with his retainers at sundown on a crow-hunt. And 
he said: "Hasten, friends, hasten! The enemy is 


panic-stricken, is in full flight, and can be readily 
caught. For the proverb says: 

In flight, a fort becomes a trap 
where all defense is lacking; 
'Tis easy then to beat a king 
Whose men are busy packing." 

With this battle-cry they flew to attack the ban- 
yan tree. And failing to find a single crow. King Foe- 
Crusher gleefully perched on a branch, and while the 
court poets chanted flatteries, he gave orders: "Ho 
there! Discover their line of retreat. Before they 
establish themselves in a fort, I will be at their heels 
and will kill them." 

At this point Live-Strong reflected : "If the enemy 
simply go home after learning what we have done, I 
shall have accomplished nothing. For the proverb 

The first or second evidence 

Of genuine intelligence 

Is — leave a business unbegun. 

Or, if begun, then see it done. 

It would have been better not to undertake this than 
to see the undertaking fail. I will reveal myself by 
letting them hear me caw." 

So he cawed with a feeble squeak. And the owls, 
hearing this, started up to kill him. But Live-Strong 
said: "Gentlemen, I am Cloudy's minister, Live- 
Strong, reduced to this state by Cloudy himself. 
Pray inform your own king. I have much to discuss 
with him." 


So the owl-king, informed by his followers, came, 
beheld with astonishment the scars of many wounds, 
and said: "Well, sir! How did you fall into this con- 
dition? Tell me." 

And Live-Strong said: "O King, listen. Yester- 
day that rascal Cloudy, seeing how many crows you 
had killed, was distracted by wrath and grief, and 
started for your fortress. Whereupon I said: 'You 
should not march against him. For they are strong, 
and we are weak. Now the proverb advises those who 
wish to thrive: 

Do not, even in thought, offend 
Stronger foes who will not bend; 
They will feel no loss or shame; 
You will die, a moth in flame. 

You should seek peace by paying him tribute.* When 
he heard this, he was made furious by rascally ad- 
visers, suspected me of being a partisan of yours, and 
reduced me to this state. Therefore your royal feet 
are now my sole refuge. In a word, so long as I can 
stir, I will conduct you to his abode, and cause the 
total destruction of the crows." 

On hearing this, Foe-Crusher took counsel with 
the counselors who had served his father and his 
grandfather. They were five in number, and their 
names were Red-Eye, Fierce-Eye, Flame-Eye, Hook- 
Nose, and Wall-Ear. 

So first he questioned Red-Eye: "My worthy sir, 
what is to be done under the circumstances?" And 


Red-Eye said: "O King, what is there to consider 
here? Kill him without hesitation. For the proverb 

Kill a weakling, lest he grow 

Hard to smite; 
Later, with augmented power 
He will fight. 

Besides, you know how common people say: *A lost 
chance brings a curse.' And again: 

He who will not when he may, 
When he will, he shall have nay. 

And this too: 

The lighted funeral pile you may 

Break up and fling apart; 
But love, when torn and patched again. 

Lives in an aching heart." 

"How was that?" asked Foe-Crusher. And Red- 
Eye told the story of 


There was once a Brahman in a certain place. His 
time was wholly spent in unproductive farming. 

Now one day, toward the end of summer, the heat 
was too much for him, and he dozed in the shade of a 
tree in the middle of his field. Not far away he saw, 
peering over an ant-hill, a terrifying snake that thrust 
forward a great, swelling hood. And he reflected: 
"Surely, this is the guardian deity of the field, and I 
never paid him honor. That is why my farm-work is 
unproductive. I will pay him honor." 


Thereupon he begged milk from somebody, put 
it in a saucer, went to the ant-hill, and said: "O 
guardian of the field! All this long time I did not 
know that you were living here. Therefore I paid 
you no honor. From now on, please be gracious to 
me." With this he presented the milk and went home. 

Now when he came back in the morning and 
looked about, he found a gold dinar in the saucer. So 
he went there every day alone, and offered milk, re- 
ceiving a dinar each time. One day, however, the 
Brahman went to town, instructing his son to carry 
milk to the ant-hill. And the boy took the milk there, 
set it down, and went home again. 

The next day he went there, found a single dinar, 
and thought: "Surely, this ant-hill is full of dinars. I 
will kill that fellow and get them all." With this pur- 
pose, while offering milk the next day, the Brahman's 
boy struck the snake on the head with a cudgel. Yet 
somehow — for fate willed it so — the snake did not die. 
Instead, he furiously struck the boy with his sharp 
fangs to such effect that the boy died at once. And 
the relatives cremated him on a woodpile near the 

On the second day the father returned. And 
learning from his relatives the cause of his son's 
death, he found the facts as stated. And he said: 

Be generous to all that lives; 

Receive the needy guest: 
If not, your own life fades away 

Like swans from lotus nest. 


"How was that?" asked the men. And the Brah- 
man told the story of 


There was once a king named Gay-Chariot in a 
certain place. He owned a lake named Lotus Lake, 
which his soldiers guarded carefully. For many 
golden swans lived there, and they gave one tail- 
feather apiece every six months. 

Now to that lake came a great bird, all of gold. 
And they told him: "You cannot live among us. 
For we have rented this lake at the rate of a tail- 
feather for six months." And so, to cut a long story 
short, a dispute arose. 

Then the great bird sought the king's protection, 
saying: "O King, those birds ask: 'What will our 
king do? We give lodging to nobody.' And I said: 
'You are not very polite. I will go and tell the king.' 
This is the situation. The king must decide." 

Then the king said to his men: "Go, you. Kill 
all the birds and bring them here at once." And they 
started immediately, obeying the king's command. 

Now one old bird saw the king's men with clubs in 
their hands, and he said: "Well, kinsmen, this is 
rather unpleasant. We must all hang together. Let 
us fly up and away." And they did so. 

"And that is why I say: 

Be generous to all that lives, . . . 
and the rest of it." 


So in the morning the Brahman took milk again, 
went to the spot, and called out, in an effort to win 
the snake's confidence: "My son met the death that 
suited his intelligence." Then the snake said: 

The lighted funeral pile you may 

Break up and fling apart; 
But love, when torn and patched again. 

Lives in an aching heart. 

"Thus, when he is dead, you will without effort 
enjoy a thornless kingdom." 

Having listened to this proposal, the king asked 
Fierce-Eye: "My worthy sir, what is your opinion ?" 
And Fierce-Eye said: "O King, his advice is heart- 
less. For one does not kill a suppliant. No doubt you 
have heard the old story: 

The dove (there mentioned) entertained 
His suppliant foeman slaughter-stained; 
Paid honor due, his guest to greet; 
And sacrificed himself for meat." 

"How was that?" asked Foe-Crusher. And Fierce- 
Eye told the story of 


A ghastly fowler plied his trade 
Of horror in a forest; made 
All living creatures hold their breath: 
He seemed to them the god of death. 

He had no comrade on the earth. 
No friend, no relative by birth. 
They all renounced him; he had made 
Them do so by his horrid trade. 


For you know 

The dreadful wretches bringing death 
On those who love their living breath. 
With natural repulsion (like 
Fierce serpents) fill before they strike. 

To snare, to imprison, and to drub 
He took a net, a cage, a club, 
And wandering daily in the wood. 
He brought all creatures harm, not good. 

While he was in the wood one day, 

The sky grew black with clouds straightway; 

So wild the wind, so fierce the rain. 

It seemed the world dissolved in pain. 

Then, as the heart within him quivered. 
And every limb grew numb and shivered. 
He sought where might a refuge be, 
And chanced to come upon a tree. 

Now as he rested, near and far 
In sudden-clearing skies, each star 
Shone bright; and he had wit to pray: 
"O Lord, be kind to me today." 

There was a dove upon the tree 
Whose nest was in a cavity; 
And since his wife was absent long. 
He grieved for her in mournful song: 

"The wind and rain were very great. 
And my belovM wife is late 
In coming home. When she is not 
At home, home is an empty spot. 


"The house is not the home; but where 
The wife is found, the home is there. 
The home without the wife is less 
To me than some wild wilderness. 

"Some wives their life's devotion give. 
And in and for the husband live; 
Whatever man has such a wife 
Is heaped with blessings all his life." 

From fowling-cage the female dove 
Had caught the speech of grief and love; 
And she was deeply gratified. 
And to her husband thus replied: 

"No woman earns the name of bride 
Whose husband is not satisfied. 
If he is happy, she may know 
The gods she venerates are so. 

"That woman should be burned entire 
(Like vines that fade in forest-fire 
While blossoms drop from clustered side) 
Whose husband is not satisfied." 

And she continued: 

"Oh, harken heedfuUy, my dear; 
My words are good for you to hear; 
Though it should cost your life, defend 
The guest who seeks in you a friend. 

"Here lies a fowler; as a guest 
He asks for comfort at your nest. 
Since cold and hunger press him sore. 
Begrudge him not from honor's store. 


And the Scripture says: 

"Whoever does not give his best 
To cheer the late-arriving guest 
Will see his merit borne away, 
And for the other's sins will pay. 

"Oh, let no hate against him rise 
who caged the wife you idolize; 
It is my sins of former lives 
That, fateful, hold me in the gyves. 

For well you know: 

"Disease, and poverty, and pain. 
With woe that prison brings amain. 
Are all the fruit of one sole tree. 
Our own, our past iniquity. 

"Abandon, therefore, thoughts of hate 
Deriving from my captive state; 
On virtue set your heart; and pay 
This man such honor as you may." 

On listening to his darling, who 
Seemed virtue-woven through and through. 
An unknown courage fired the dove; 
He gave the fowler words of love. 

"A hearty welcome, sir, to you; 
What for your service may I do? 
No more let anxious fancies roam, 
For here with me you are at home." 

In answer to his kindly words 
Replied the murderer of birds: 
"Well, dove, the cold is in me still; 
Give me a remedy for chill." 


The dove then brought a bonfire's sole 
Surviving ember — one live coal. 
And where a pile of dry leaves lay. 
He kindled it to fire straightway. 

"Now, sir, take heart; fot^etting fear. 
Resuscitate your members here; 
Alas ! I cannot put to flight 
The cravings of your appetite. 

"One patron feeds a thousand men; 
One feeds a hundred; one feeds ten. 
But I, whose virtue does not thrive. 
Scarce keep my puny self alive. 

"Ah, if you have not in your nest 
Provision for a single guest. 
Why occupy today, tomorrow 
A nest that harbors naught but sorrow? 

"I shall destroy my body, fain 
To end its living with its pain. 
That nevermore I stand confessed 
Powerless to aid a needy guest." 

And thus he blamed himself, you see; 
The greedy fowler went scot-free: 
Then — "I may yet your craving sate. 
If one mere moment you will wait." 

Whereat that creature free from sin, 
Joy-quivering his soul within. 
Walked round the fire, as it had been 
His cherished home, and entered in. 

When this the greedy fowler saw. 
Compassion filled his soul, and awe. 


He, while the dove was cooking, spoke 
What from his heart a passage broke: 

''None loves his soul, 'tis very plain. 
Who smears it with a sinful stain. 
The soul commits the sin; and late 
Or soon, the soul must expiate. 

''M7 thoughts are evil; my desire 
Is ever set on what is dire: 
It needs but little wit to tell 
I steer my course for ghastly hell. 

'A moral lesson let me draw 
From what my savage spirit saw. 
The high-souled dove, that I may eat. 
Has sacrificed himself for meat. 

"Henceforth let all enjoyment be 
An unfamiliar thing to me; 
I'll share the shallow water's fate 
In August; will evaporate. 

"Cold, wind, and heat I will embrace. 
Grow thin and dirty, form and face. 
Will fast by every method known. 
Seek virtue, perfect and alone." 

The fowler then apieces tore 
Club, peg, net, cage — and what is more. 
Set free the wretched female dove 
Who sorrowed for her perished love. 

But she, released from clutches dire. 
Beheld her husband in the fire; 
Whereat she gave expression so 
To thoughts of horror and of woe: 


"My lord! My love! What shall I do 
With life that drags, apart from you? 
What profit has a wretched wife. 
Without a husband, of her life? 

"For self-esteem, respect, and pride. 
The family honor paid a bride. 
Authority with all the brood 
Of servants, die with widowhood." 

Now after this lamenting sore. 
This sorrow bitter evermore. 
She went where lay her heart's desire, 
Walked straight into the blazing fire. 

And lo! She sees her husband shine — 
Oh, wonder! — in a car divine; 
Her body wears a heavenly gown; 
And heavenly gems hang pendent down. 

While he, become a god, addressed 
True consolation to her breast: 
"The deed that you have done, is meet 
In following your husband, sweet. 

"There grow upon a man alive 
Some thirty million hairs and five; 
So many years in heaven spend 
Wives following husbands to the end." 

So he joyfully took her into the chariot, embraced 

her, and lived happily. But the fowler sank into the 

deepest despondency, and plunged into a great forest, 

meditating death. 

And there he saw a forest-fire 
And entered it; for all desire 


Was dead. His sins were burned away; 
He went to heaven, there to stay. 

"And that is why I say: 
The dove (there mentioned) entertained, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Having listened to this, Foe-Crusher asked Flame- 
Eye: "What is your opinion, sir, things standing as 
they do?" And Flame-Eye said: 

"She who always shranlc from me 
Hugs me to her breast. 
Thank you, benefactor! Take 
What you like the best." 

And the thief replied: 

"Nothing here that I should like; 
Should I want a thing, 
I'll return if she does not 
Passionately cling." 

"But," asked Foe-Crusher, "who is she that does 
not cling ? And who is the thief? I should like to hear 
this one in detail." And Flame-Eye told the story of 

There was once an aged merchant in a certain 
town, and his name was Lovelorn. To such an extent 
had love clouded his reason that, when his wife died, 
he gave much money in order to marry the daughter 
of a penniless shopkeeper. But the girl was heart- 
broken and could not bear to look at the old mer- 
chant. This, indeed, might have been anticipated. 


The silvered head will sue in vain, 

A maiden's love beseeching; 
The maid, despising it, is fain 

To flee afar with screeching; 
Like Hangman's Well it causes pain. 

Where dead men's bones are bleaching. 

And furthermore: 

Slow, tottering steps the strength exhaust; 

The eye unsteady blinks; 
From driveling mouth the teeth are lost; 

The handsome figure shrinks; 
The limbs are wrinkled; relatives 

And wife contemptuous pass; 
The son no further honor gives 

To doddering age. Alas! 

Now one night, while she was turning her back to 
him in bed, a thief entered the house. And she was 
terrified at seeing a thief, and embraced her husband, 
old as he was. He, for his part, felt every limb thrill 
with astonishment and love, and he thought: "Gra- 
cious me! Why does she hug me tonight?" Then, 
peering narrowly about, he discovered the thief in a 
corner, and reflected: "No doubt she embraces me 
from fear of him." So he said to the thief: 

"She who always shrank from me. 
Hugs me to her breast; 
Thank you, benefactor! Take 
What you like the best." 

And the thief made reply: 

"Nothing here that I should like; 
Should I want a thing. 


I'll return if she does not 
Passionately cling." 

"Thus advantage may be anticipated from a 
benefactor, thief though he be. How much more 
from a suppliant guest? Besides, having been mal- 
treated by them, he will labor for our success, or for 
the revelation of their vulnerable point. In view of 
this, he should not be killed." 

Having listened to this view, Foe-Crusher ques- 
tioned another counselor, namely, Hook-Nose. "My 
worthy sir, what should be done under the present 
circumstances?" And Hook-Nose answered: "O 
King, he should not be killed. For 

From enemies expect relief, 

If discord pierce their host; 
Thus, life was given by the thief 

And cattle by the ghost." 

"How was that?" asked Foe-Crusher. And Hook- 
Nose told the story of 


There was once a poor Brahman in a certain place. 
He lived on presents, and always did without such 
luxuries as fine clothes and ointments and perfumes 
and garlands and gems and betel-gum. His beard 
and his nails were long, and so was the hair that 
covered his head and his body. Heat, cold, rain, and 
the like had dried him up. 


Then someone pitied him and gave him two calves. 
And the Brahman began when they were little and 
fed them on butter and oil and fodder and other 
things that he begged. So he made them very plump. 

Then a thief saw them and the idea came to him 
at once: "I will steal these two cows from this Brah- 
man." So he took a rope and set out at night. But 
on the way he met a fellow with a row of sharp teeth 
set far apart, with a high-bridged nose and uneven 
eyes, with limbs covered with knotty muscles, with 
hollow cheeks, with beard and body as yellow as a 
fire with much butter in it. 

And when the thief saw him, he started with acute 
fear and said: "Who are you, sir?" 

The other said: "I am a ghost named Truthful. 
It is now your turn to explain yourself." 

The thief said: "I am a thief, and my acts are 
cruel. I am on my way to steal two cows from a poor 

Then the ghost felt relieved and said: "My dear 
sir, I take one meal every three days. So I will just 
eat this Brahman today. It is delightful that you and 
I are on the same errand." 

So together they went there and hid, waiting 
for the proper moment. And when the Brahman 
went to sleep, the ghost started forward to eat him. 
But the thief saw him and said: "My dear sir, this is 
not right. You are not to eat the Brahman until I 
have stolen his two cows." 


The ghost said: "The racket would most likely 
wake the Brahman. In that case all my trouble would 
be vain." 

"But, on the other hand," said the thief, "if any 
hindrance arises when you start to eat him, then I 
cannot steal the two cows either. First I will steal 
the two cows, then you may eat the Brahman." 

So they disputed, each crying "Me first! Me 
first!" And when they became heated, the hubbub 
waked the Brahman. Then the thief said: "Brah- 
man, this is a ghost who wishes to eat you." And the 
ghost said: "Brahman, this is a thief who wishes to 
steal your two cows." 

When the Brahman heard this, he stood up and 
took a good look. And by remembering a prayer to 
his favorite god, he saved his life from the ghost, 
then lifted a club and saved his two cows from the 

"And that is why I say: 

From enemies expect relief, .... 

and the rest of it. Besides: 

The Scriptures tell a holy tale 

Of sacrificial love, 
How Shibi gave the hawk his flesh 

As ransom for the dove — 

showing that it is contrary to religion to slay a sup- 

Having listened to this opinion, the king asked 


WaU-Ear: "What is your view, sir? Tell me." And 
Wall-Ear said: "O King, he certainly should not be 
killed. For if you spare his life, you two may well 
grow fond of each other, and spend the time pleasant- 
ly. There is a saying: 

Be quick with mutual defense 

In honest give-and-take; 
Or perish, like the ant-hill beast 

And like the belly-snake." 

"How was that?" asked Foe-Crusher. And Wall- 
Ear told the story of 


In a certain city dwelt a king whose name was 
Godlike. He had a son who wasted daily in every 
limb because of a snake that used his belly as a home 
instead of an ant-hill. So the prince became dejected 
and went to another country. In a city of that coun- 
try he begged alms, spending his time in a great 

Now in that city was a king named Gift, who had 
two daughters in early womanhood. One of these 
bowed daily at her father's feet with the greeting: 
"Victory, O King," while the other said: "Your 
deserts, O King." 

At this the king grew angry, and said: "See, 
counselors. This young lady speaks malevolently. 
Give her to some foreigner. Let her have her own 
deserts." To this the counselors agreed, and gave 


the princess, with very few maid-servants, to the 
prince who made his home in the temple. 

And she was delighted, accepted her husband like 
a god, and went with him to a far country. There 
by the edge of a tank in a distant city she left the 
prince to look after the house while she went with 
her maids to buy butter, oil, salt, rice, and other 
supplies. When her shopping was done, she returned 
and found the prince with his head resting on an ant- 
hill. And from his mouth issued the head of a hooded 
snake, taking the air. Likewise another snake crawled 
from the ant-hill, also to take the air. 

When these two saw each other, their eyes grew 
red with anger, and the ant-hill snake said: "You 
villain! How can you torment in this way a prince 
who is so perfectly handsome?" And the snake in the 
prince's mouth said: "Villain yourself! How can 
you bemire those two pots full of gold?" In this 
fashion each laid bare the other's weakness. 

Then the ant-hill snake continued: "You villain! 
Doesn't anybody know the simple remedy of drinking 
black mustard and so destroying you?" And the 
belly-snake retorted: "And doesn't anybody know 
the simple way to destroy you, by pouring in hot 

Now the princess, hiding behind a branch, over- 
heard their conversation, and did just as they sug- 
gested. So she made her husband sound and well, and 
acquired vast wealth. When she returned to her own 


country, she was highly honored by father, mother, 
and relatives, and lived happily. For she had her 

"And that is why I say: 

Be quick with mutual defense, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Now Foe-Crusher, having heard their advice, 
agreed. But Red-Eye, perceiving that the matter 
was decided, continued his remarks with a quiet 
sneer: "Alas! Alas! Our lord the king has been wick- 
edly done to death by you gentlemen. For the prov- 
erb says: 

Where honor is withheld or paid 

Mistakenly, 'tis clear 
Three things have unrestricted course: 

Famine, and death, and fear. 

And again: 

It argues utter want of sense 

To pardon obvious offense: 

The carpenter upon his head 

Took wife and him who fouled his bed." 

"How was that?" asked the counselors, and Red- 
Eye told the story of 


There was once a carpenter in a certain village. 
His wife was a whore, and reputed to be such. So he. 


desiring to test her, thought: "How can I put her 
to the test? For the proverb says: 

Fire chills, rogues bless, and moonlight burns 
Before a wife to virtue turns. 

"Now I know from popular gossip that she is un- 
faithful. For the saying goes: 

All things that are not seen or heard 
In science or the Sacred Word, 
All things in interstellar space 
Are known among the populace." 

After these reflections, he said to his wife: "To- 
morrow morning, my dear, I am going to another 
village, where I shall be detained several days. Please 
put me up a nice lunch." And her heart quivered 
when she heard this; she eagerly dropped everything 
to make delicious dishes, almost pure butter and 
sugar. In fact, the old saw was justified: 

When lowering clouds 

Shut in the day. 
When streets are mired 

With sticky clay. 
When husband lingers 

Far away, 
The flirt becomes 

Supremely gay. 

Now at dawn the carpenter rose and left his 
house. When she had made sure that he was gone, 
with laughing countenance she spent the dragging 
day in trying on all her best things. Then she called 
on an old lover and said: "My husband has gone to 


another village — the rascal ! Please come to our house 
when the people are asleep." And he did so. 

Now the carpenter spent the day in the forest, 
stole into his own house at twilight by a side entrance, 
and hid under the bed. At this juncture the other 
fellow arrived and got into bed. And when the car- 
penter saw him, his heart was stabbed by wrath, 
and he thought: "Shall I rise and smite him? Or 
shall I wait until they are asleep and kill them both 
without effort? Or again, shall I wait to see how she 
behaves, listen to what she says to him?" At this 
moment she softly locked the door and went to bed. 

But as she did so, she stubbed her toe on the 
carpenter's body. And she thought: "It must be 
that carpenter — the rascal ! — who is testing me. Well, 
I will give him a taste of woman's tricks." 

While she was thinking, the fellow became insis- 
tent. But she clasped her hands and said: "Dear 
and honored sir, you must not touch me." And he 
said: "Well, well! For what purpose did you invite 

"Listen," said she. "I went this morning to 
Gauri's shrine to see the goddess. There all at once 
I heard a voice in the sky, saying: 'What am I to do, 
my daughter? You are devoted to me, yet in six 
months' time, by the decree of fate, you will be a 
widow.' Then I said: *0 blessed goddess, since you 
are aware of the calamity, you also know the remedy. 
Is there any means of making my husband live a 


hundred years?' And the goddess replied: 'Indeed 
there is — a remedy depending on you alone.' Of 
course I said: 'If it cost my life, pray tell me, and I 
will do it.' Then the goddess said: 'If you go to bed 
with another man, and embrace him, then the un- 
timely death that threatens your husband will pass 
to him. And your husband will live another hundred 
years.' For this purpose I invited you. Now do what 
you had in mind. The words of a goddess must not 
be falsified — so much is certain." Then his face 
blossomed with noiseless laughter, and he did as she 

Now the carpenter, fool that he was, felt his body 
thrill with joy on hearing her words, and he issued 
from under the bed, saying: "Bravo, faithful wife! 
Bravo, delight of the family! Because my heart was 
troubled by the gossip of evil creatures, I pretended 
a trip to another village in order to test you, and 
lay hidden under the bed. Come now, embrace 

With these words he embraced her and lifted her 
to his shoulder, then said to the fellow: "My dear 
and honored sir, you have come here because my 
good deeds earned this happiness. Through your 
favor I have won a full hundred years of life. You, 
too, must mount my shoulder." 

So he forced the fellow, much against his will, to 
mount his shoulder, and then went dancing about 
to the doors of the houses of all his relatives. 


"And that is why I say: 

It argues utter want of sense 
To pardon obvious offense, .... 

and the rest of it. 

"We are certainly uprooted and undone. For the 
proverb is right in saying: 

Shrewd men unmask a foe 

Who seems a friend. 
Whose speech is kind, whose acts 

To hatred tend. 

And again: 

Before fools' counsel flees 

Prosperity, though won; 
Its place and time are lost. 

Like dark before the sun." 

But they all disregarded his ad-^nce, picked Live- 
Strong up, and started to carry him to their fortress. 
And on the journey Live-Strong said: "O King, I 
have done nothing yet, and I am in a sad state. Why 
are you so kind to me? Nay, I desire to enter the 
blazing fire. Pray put me under obligations by pro- 
viding fire." 

Now Red-Eye pierced his purpose and said: 
"Why do you wish to enter fire?" And Live-Strong 
replied: "For your sake I have been plunged into 
this calamity by Cloudy, Therefore I wish to be re- 
bom as an owl in order to requite their enmity." Now 
Red-Eye, being a master of diplomacy, rejoined: 
"My dear sir, you are wily and plausible. Even if 


reborn as an owl, you would highly esteem your 
corvine provenience. There is a story that illustrates 
the point: 

Though mountain, sun, and cloud, and wind 

Were suitors at her feet. 
The mouse-maid turned a mouse again — 

Nature is hard to beat." 

"How was that?" asked Live-Strong. And Red- 
Eye told the story of 


The billows of the Ganges were dotted with pearly 
foam born of the leaping of fishes frightened at hear- 
ing the roar of the waters that broke on the rugged, 
rocky shore. On the bank was a hermitage crowded 
with holy men devoting their time to the performance 
of sacred rites — chanting, self-denial, self-torture, 
study, fasting, and sacrifice. They would take puri- 
fied water only, and that in measured sips. Their 
bodies wasted under a diet of bulbs, roots, fruits, and 
moss. A loin-cloth made of bark formed their scanty 

The father of the hermitage was named Yajna- 
valkya. After he had bathed in the sacred stream and 
had begun to rinse his mouth, a little female mouse 
dropped from a hawk's beak and fell into his hand. 
When he saw what she was, he laid her on a banyan 
leaf, repeated his bath and mouth-rinsing, and per- 
formed a ceremony of purification. Then through the 


magic power of his holiness, he changed her into a girl, 
and took her with him to his hermitage. 

As his wife was childless, he said to her: "Take 
her, my dear wife. She has come into life as your 
daughter, and you must rear her carefully." So the 
wife reared her and spoiled her with petting. As soon 
as the girl reached the age of twelve, the mother saw 
that she was ready for marriage, and said to her 
husband: "My dear husband, how can you fail to 
see that the time is passing when your daughter 
should marry?" 

And he replied: "You are quite right, my dear. 
The saying goes: 

Before a man is gratified. 
These gods must treat her as a bride — 
The fire, the moon, the choir of heaven; 
In this way, no offense is given. 

Holiness is the gift of fire; 
A sweet voice, of the heavenly choir; 
The moon gives purity within: 
So is a woman free from sin. 

Before nubility, 'tis said 
That she is white; but after, red; 
Before her womanhood is plain. 
She is, though naked, free from stain. 

The moon, in mystic fashion, weds 
A maiden when her beauty spreads; 
The heavenly choir, when bosoms grow; 
The fire, upon the monthly flow. 


To wed a maid is therefore good 
Before developed womanhood; 
Nor need the loving parents wait 
Beyond the early age of eight. 

The early signs one kinsman slay; 
The bosom takes the next away; 
Friends die for passion gratified; 
The father, if she ne'er be bride. 

For if she bides a maiden still. 
She gives herself to whom she will; 
Then marry her in tender age: 
So warns the heaven-begotten sage. 

If she, unwed, unpurified. 
Too long within the home abide. 
She may no longer married be: 
A miserable spinster, she. 

A father then, avoiding sin, 
Weds her, the appointed time within 
(Where'er a husband may be had) 
To good, indifferent, or bad. 

Now I will try to give her to one of her own station. 
You know the saying: 

Where wealth is very much the same. 

And similar the family fame, 
Marriage (or friendship) is secure; 
But not between the rich and poor. 

And finally: 

Aim at seven things in marriage; 
All the rest you may disparage: 



Get money, good looks. 
And knowledge of books, 
Good family, youth. 
Position, and truth. 

"So, if she is willing, I will summon the blessM 
sun, and give her to him." "I see no harm in that," 
said his wife. "Let it be done." 

The holy man therefore summoned the sun, who 
appeared without delay, and said: "Holy sir, why 
am I summoned?" The father said: "Here is a 
daughter of mine. Be kind enough to marry her." 
Then, turning to his daughter, he said: "Little girl, 
how do you like him, this blessed lamp of the three 
worlds?" "No, father," said the girl, "He is too 
burning hot. I could not like him. Please summon 
another one, more excellent than he is." 

Upon hearing this, the holy man said to the sun: 
"BlessM one, is there any superior to you?" And 
the sun replied: "Yes, the cloud is superior even to 
me. When he covers me, I disappear." 

So the holy man summoned the cloud next, and 
said to the maiden: "Little girl, I will give you to 
him." "No," said she. "This one is black and frigid. 
Give me to someone finer than he." 

Then the holy man asked: "O cloud, is there any- 
one superior to you ?" And the cloud replied: "The 
wind is superior even to me." 

So he summoned the wind, and said: "Little girl. 


I give you to him." "Father," said she, "this one is 
too fidgety. Please invite somebody superior even to 
him." So the holy man said: "O wind, is there any- 
one superior even to you ?" "Yes," said the wind. 
"The mountain is superior to me." 

So he summoned the mountain and said to the 
maiden: "Little girl, I give you to him." "Oh, 
father," said she. "He is rough all over, and stiff. 
Please give me to somebody else." 

So the holy man asked: "O kingly mountain, is 
there anyone superior even to you ?" "Yes," said the 
mountain. "Mice are superior to me." 

Then the holy man summoned a mouse, and pre- 
sented him to the girl, saying: "Little girl, do you 
like this mouse?" 

The moment she saw him, she felt: "My own 
kind, my own kind," and her body thrilled and quiv- 
ered, and she said: "Father dear, turn me into a 
mouse, and give me to him. Then I can keep house 
as my kind of people ought to do." 

And her father, through the magic power of his 
holiness, turned her into a mouse, and gave her to 

"And that is why I say: 

Though mountain, sun, and cloud, and wind, .... 

and the rest of it." 

But they paid no heed to Red-Eye's reasoning, 
and took the crow to their fortress, to the destruction 


of their race. And on the journey Livs'Strong 
laughed in his heart and said: 

The secrets of diplomacy 

To him alone were plain 
Who, instant in his master's causd. 

Advised that I be slain. 

"Now if they were to take his advice, not even 
the slightest misfortune would befall them." 

When they came to the fortress gate, Foe-Crusher 
said: "Come, my friends! Give this Live-Strong 
whatever chamber he prefers — for he wishes us well." 

And Live-Strong, hearing this, reflected: "I must 
now devise a plan for their destruction. This is not 
possible if I live in their midst. For they would ob- 
serve motions betraying my purpose, and would 
keep their eyes open. Only by remaining near the 
gate can I accomplish my desire." 

He therefore said to the owl-king: "O King, what 
the king has said, is eminently right. Yet I, too, am a 
student of diplomacy and a well-wisher. I know that 
even one who is loyal and pure in purpose should not 
dwell in the heart of a fortress. I will therefore take 
my place here at the fortress gate and pay daily 
homage, my body sanctified by the dust from your 
lotus feet." 

To this the owl-king agreed, and his efficient 
caterers daily gave Live-Strong, by special command 
of the king, the pick of the viands. So that in a very 
few days he grew strong as a peacock. 


But Red-Eye, seeing how Live-Strong was being 
pampered, was amazed, and he said to the counselors 
and to the king himself : "Dear me! These counselors 
are a pack of fools, and you, too, sir. I cannot think 
otherwise. Then there is the saying: 

I played the fool at first; then he 

Who had me on his tether; 
And then the king and counselor — 

We all were fools together." 

"How was that?" they asked. And Red-Eye told 
the story of 


There was once a great tree on a mountain side. 
On it lived a bird in whose dung gold appeared. 

One day a hunter came to the spot, and directly 
in front of him the bird dropped its dung, which at 
the moment of falling turned to gold. At this the 
hunter was amazed. 

"Well, well !" said he. "For eighty years, man and 
boy, I have had bird-trapping on the brain, and I 
never once saw gold in a bird's dung." So he set a 
snare in the tree. And the bird, fool that he was, 
forgot the danger, and perched on the customary 
spot. Of course, he was caught immediately. 

Then the hunter freed him from the snare, put 
him in a cage and took him home. But he reflected: 
"What am I to do with this bird of ill omen? If any- 
body should ever discover his peculiarity, it would be 


reported to the king. In that case my very life would 
be in genuine danger. I will take the bird and report 
to the king myself." And he did so. 

Now when the king saw the bird, his lotus eyes 
blossomed and he felt supremely gratified. "Come 
now, guardsmen," said he. "Look after this bird 
with anxious care. Give him everything he wants to 
eat and drink." 

Then a counselor said: "He was hatched from 
an egg. Why keep him? You have no evidence save 
the mere incredible assurance of a hunter. Is gold 
ever present in bird-dung? Take this bird from the 
cage and set him free." 

So the king, taking the counselor's advice, freed 
the bird, who perched on the lofty arch of the door- 
way long enough to drop dung which was of gold. 
Then he recited the stanza: 

I played the fool at first; then he 

Who had me on his tether; 
And then the king and counselor — 

We all were fools together. 

After which he took his carefree flight through the 

"And that is why I say: 

I played the fool at first, .... 

and the rest of it." 

But once more — for fate was hostile — they neg- 
lected Red-Eye's counsel, sound as it was, and pam- 


pered Live-Strong further with varied viands, in- 
cluding plenty of meat. 

Then Red-Eye called together his personal ad- 
herents, and said to them privately: "The end is at 
hand. The welfare of our king, and his fortress, are 
things of the past. I have given him such counsel as 
an ancestral counselor should give. Let us now, for 
our part, seek another fortress in the mountains. For 
the saying goes: 

Joy comes from knowing what to dread. 
And sorrow smites the dunderhead: 
A long life through, the woods I've walked. 
But never heard a cave that talked." 

"How was that?" they asked. And Red-Eye told 
the story of 


There was once a lion in a part of a forest, and 
his name was Rough-Claw. One day he found nothing 
whatever to eat in his wanderings, and his throat was 
pinched by hunger. At sunset he came to a great 
mountain cave and went in, for he thought: "Surely, 
some animal will come into this cave during the night. 
I will hide and wait." 

Presently the owner of the cave, a jackal named 
Curd-Face, came to the door and began to sing: 
"Cave ahoy! Cave aho-o-oy!" Then after a mo- 
ment's silence, he continued in the same tone: 
"Hello 1 Don't you remember how you and I made 


an agreement that I was to speak to you when I came 
back from the world outside, and that you were to 
sing out to me? But you won't speak to me today. 
So I am going oflF to that other cave, which will return 
my greeting." 

Now when he heard this, the lion thought: "I 
see. This cave always calls out a greeting when the 
fellow returns. But today, from fear of me, it doesn't 
say a word. This is natural enough. For 

The feet and hands refuse to act 

When peril terrifies; 
A trembling seizes every limb; 

And speech unaltered dies. 

"I mU. myself call out a greeting, which he will 
follow to its source, so providing me with a dinner." 

The lion thereupon called out a greeting. But the 
cave so magnified the roar that its echo filled the 
circuit of the horizon, thus terrifying other forest 
creatures as well, even those far distant. Meanwhile 
the jackal made off, repeating the stanza: 

Joy comes from knowing what to dread. 
And sorrow smites the dunderhead: 
A long life through, the woods I've walked. 
But never heard a cave that talked. 

"Take this to heart and come with me." And 
Red-Eye, having made his decision, departed for 
another fortress, accompanied by a retinue of fol- 

At Red-Eye's departure, Live-Strong was over- 


joyed. And he reflected: "Very good, indeed. Red- 
Eye's flight is a blessing to us. For he was farsighted, 
while the rest are numskulls. I can easily destroy 
them now. For the proverb says: 

If no farsighted counselors. 

Long-tried, secure. 
Aid him, the downfall of a king 

Is swift and sure. 

And there is sound reasoning in this: 

The shrewd discover enemies 

Disguised as friends 
In senseless counselors whose speech 

To evil tends." 

After these reflections, he dropped each day one 
fagot from the forest into his own nest, with the ul- 
timate purpose of setting the cave aflre. Nor did the 
owls, poor fools, perceive that he was building up his 
nest in order to burn them alive. Well, there is sense 
in the saying: 

Cause your friends no bitter woes; 
Do not fraternize with foes: 
Friends, when lost, are friends no more; 
Enemies were lost before. 

Thus, pretending to build a nest, Live-Strong con- 
structed a woodpile at the fortress gate. Then at 
sunrise, when the owls became blind, he hastened 
away and reported to Cloudy: "My lord and king, 
I have prepared the enemy's cave for burning. Come 
with your retainers, each bringing a lighted fagot 
from the forest, to throw on my nest at the gate of the 


cave. Thus all your foes will die in torments like those 
in Pot-baking Hell." 

At this Cloudy was delighted and said: "Father, 
tell me your adventures. It is long since we met." 
"No, my son," said Live-Strong. "This is no time 
for talk. Some enemy spy might possibly report my 
journey hither. And our blind enemy, thus informed, 
might make his escape. Make haste, make haste. 
For the proverb says: 

When speed is needful, ne'er permit 

Delay, but do it pat; 
Else, wrathful gods are sure to strike 

The undertaking flat. 

And again: 

Whatever deed you have in mind 
(Especially when fate is kind). 
Do quickly. If you wait a bit. 
Then time will suck the juice of it. 

"Later, when your enemies are slain, and you 
have returned to your home, I will tell the whole 
story in carefree humor." 

So Cloudy and his followers, taking Live-Strong's 
advice, seized one lighted fagot apiece in their bills, 
flew to the gate of the cave, and threw their fagots 
upon Live-Strong's nest. Then all the owls (being 
blind in the daytime) remembered Red-Eye's counsels 
as they suffered the torments of Pot-baking Hell. In 
this fashion Cloudy exterminated his foes and re- 
turned to his old fortress in the banyan tree. 

There he mounted the lion-throne and, his heart 


overflowing with joy, he questioned Live-Strong in 

full session of his court: "Father, how did you pass 

the time in the midst of the enemy? For the proverb 


Better a plunge in blazing fire 

(The righteous know) 
Than momentary contact with 

A wicked foe." 

And Live-Strong said: "My lord and king! 

Whatever path provides escape 

When danger s face is seen, 
With clear decision follow, if 

It noble seem, or mean: 
Two arms like trunks of elephants, 

Fight-calloused, skilled to wield 
The bow of heaven, Arjun felt 

To woman's bracelets yield. 

The wise and strong, awaiting days 

More prosperous, must grant 
Obedience to wicked lords 

Whose speech is adamant: 
Gigantic Bhima, smoke-begrimed. 

Puffing at labor, and 
A ladle flourished in his fist. 

Was cook in Matsya land. 

The prudent, hopeful man should act 

As suits an evil case, 
Should steel his heart to carry through 

A holy deed, or base: 
Great Arjun with a calloused arm 

From twanging bow divine 
Effeminately danced, and saw 

His tinkling girdle shine. 


The wise, alert, ambitious man. 

If he expect success. 
Must wait on fortune, watch his step. 

And curb his stateliness: 
Yudhishthir King, with pilgrim's staff. 

Long drew his painful breath. 
Though worshiped by his brothers, great 

As War, and Wealth, and Death. 

So Kunti's handsome, powerful twins, 
High birth writ on their brows. 

Were menials at Virata's court, 
And lived by counting cows. 

So queenly Draupadi, with youth's 

And matchless beauty's seal. 
In charm most like a goddess, fell 

By turn of fortune's wheel; 
And haughty maidens called her slave 

And sneered at her for sport, 
What time she powdered sandalwood 

In Matsya's royal court." 

"Father," said Cloudy, "this dwelling with an 
enemy seems to me like the sword-blade ordeal." 
"So it is," said Live-Strong. "But I never saw such a 
pack of fools anywhere. Not one was sensible except 
Red-Eye. He, indeed, has great capacity, an intelli- 
gence not blunted by his extensive scientific attain- 
ments. He discovered my exact purpose. But as for 
the other counselors, they were great fools, making 
a living by a mere pretense of giving good counsel, 
with no flair for verity. They were not even aware 
of this: 


Tis ruinous to trust the scamps 
Who come to you from hostile camps; 
Such rivals you should chase away, 
For constant trouble does not pay. 

The foeman serving as a scout. 

Who knows (by bobbing in and out) 

Your favored chair, familiar bed. 

And how you drink, and what you're fed, 

Your travels to another town — 

Will strike his heedless foeman down. 

The prudent therefore guards himself — 
The source of virtue, love, and pelf — 
With every effort, strain, and stress: 
For death will follow heedlessness. 

And there is plenty of sense in this: 

Who, ill-advised, does not commit 

Grave faults of savoirfaire? 
What glutton has not much unrest 

Within himself to bear? 
Whom does not fortune render proud? 

Whom does not death lay low? 
To whom do not possessions bring 

Abundant harm and woe? 

The steady forfeit glory, while 

The restless forfeit friends; 
The bankrupt forfeits family. 

The banker, better ends; 
The man of passion forfeits books. 

The fawner, friendship's flower; 
The king with careless counselors 

Must forfeit kingly power. 

"Yes, O King, I have experienced in person what 
you were kind enough to put into words: that associ- 


ation with the enemy is equal to the sword-blade 
ordeal. As the old verse puts it: 

Bear even foes upon your back; 

When fortune clogs 
Your path, endure. The great black snake 

Slew many frogs." 

"How was that?" asked Cloudy. And Live- 
Strong told the story of 


There was once an elderly black snake in a certain 
spot, and his name was Slow-Poison. He considered 
the situation from this point of view: "How in the 
world can I get along without overtaxing my ener- 
gies?" Then he went to a pond containing many 
frogs, and behaved as if very dejected. 

As he waited thus, a frog came to the edge of the 
water and asked: "Uncle, why don't you bustle about 
today for food as usual?" 

"My dear friend," said Slow-Poison, "I am afflict- 
ed. Why should I wish for food? For this evening, 
as I was bustling about for food, I saw a frog and 
made ready to catch him. But he saw me and, fearing 
death, he escaped among some Brahmans intent upon 
holy recitation, nor did I perceive which way he went. 
But in the water at the edge of the pond was the 
great toe of a Brahman boy, and stupidly deceived 
by its resemblance to a frog, I bit it, and the boy died 
immediately. Then the sorrowing father cursed me 


in these terms: 'Monster! Since you bit my harmless 
son, you shall for this sin become a vehicle for frogs, 
and shall subsist on whatever they choose to allow 
you.' Consequently, I have come here to serve as 
your vehicle." 

Now the frog reported this to all the others. And 
every last one of them, in extreme delight, went and 
reported to the frog-king, whose name was Water- 
Foot. He in turn, accompanied by his counselors, 
rose hurriedly from the pond — for he thought it an 
extraordinary occurrence — and climbed upon Slow- 
Poison's hood. The others also, in order of age, 
climbed on his back. Yet others, finding no vacant 
spot, hopped along behind the snake. Now Slow- 
Poison, with an eye to making his living, showed 
them fancy turns in great variety. And Water-Foot, 
enjoying contact with his body, said to him: 

I'd rather ride Slow-Poison than 

The finest horse I've seen. 
Or elephant, or chariot, 

Or man-borne palanquin. 

The next day, Slow-Poison was wily enough to 
move very slowly. So Water-Foot said: "My dear 
Slow-Poison, why don't you carry us nicely, as you 
did before?" 

And Slow-Poison said: "O King, I have no carry- 
ing power today because of lack of food." "My dear 
fellow," said the king, "eat the plebeian frogs." 

When Slow-Poison heard this, he quivered with 


joy in every member and made haste to say: "Why, 
that is a part of the curse laid on me by the Brahman. 
For that reason I am greatly pleased at your com- 
mand." So he ate frogs uninterruptedly, and in a 
very few days he grew strong. And with delight and 
inner laughter he said: 

The trick was good. All sorts of frogs 

Within my power have passed. 
The only question that remains, 

Is: How long will they last? 

Water-Foot, for his part, was befooled by Slow- 
Poison's plausibilities, and did not notice a thing. 

At this moment another black snake, a tremen- 
dous fellow, arrived on the scene. And being amazed 
at the sight of Slow-Poison used as a vehicle by frogs, 
he said: "Partner, they are our natural food, yet 
they use you as a vehicle. This is repellent." And 
Slow-Poison said: 

I know I should not carry frogs; 

I have it well in mind; 
But I am marking time, as did 

The Brahman butter-blind. 

"How was that?" asked the snake. And Slow- 
Poison told the story of 


There was once a Brahman named Theodore in a 
certain town. His wife, being unchaste and a pur- 
suer of other men, was forever making cakes with 


sugar and butter for a lover, and so cheating her 

Now one day her husband saw her and said: "My 
dear wife, what are you cooking? And where are you 
forever carrying cakes? Tell the truth." 

But her impudence was equal to the occasion, and 
she lied to her husband: "There is a shrine of the 
blessM goddess not far from here. There I have 
undertaken a fasting ceremony, and I take an offer- 
ing, including the most delicious dishes." Then she 
took the cakes before his very eyes and started for 
the shrine of the goddess, imagining that after her 
statement, her husband would believe it was for the 
goddess that his wife was daily providing delicious 
dishes. Having reached the shrine, she went down 
to the river to perform the ceremonial bath. 

Meanwhile her husband arrived by another road 
and hid behind the statue of the goddess. And his 
wife entered the shrine after her bath, performed the 
various rites — Slaving, anointing, giving incense, 
making an offering, and so on — bowed before the god- 
dess, and prayed: "O blessed one, how may my 
husband be made blind?" 

Then the Brahman behind the goddess' back 
spoke, disguising his natural tone: "If you never stop 
giving him such food as butter and butter-cakes, then 
he will presently go blind." 

Now that loose female, deceived by the plausible 
revelation, gave the Brahman just that kind of food 


every day. One day the Brahman said: "My dear, 
I don't see very well." And she thought: "Thank 
the goddess." 

Then the favored lover thought: "The Brahman 
has gone blind. What can he do tome?" Whereupon 
he came daily to the house without hesitation. 

But at last the Brahman caught him as he entered, 
seized him by the hair, and clubbed and kicked him 
to such effect that he died. He also cut off his wicked 
wife's nose, and dismissed her. 

"And that is why I say: 

I know I should not carry frogs .... 

and the rest of it." 

Then Slow-Poison, with noiseless laughter, 
hummed over the verse: 

The trick was good. All sorts of frogs .... 

and the rest of it. And Water-Foot, hearing this, was 
conscience stricken, and wondering what he meant, 
inquired: "My dear sir, what do you mean by re- 
citing that repulsive verse?" "Nothing at all," said 
Slow-Poison, desiring to mask his purpose. And 
Water-Foot, befooled by his plausible manner, failed 
to perceive his treachery. 

Why spin it out? He ate them all so completely 
that not even frog-seed was left. 

"And that is why I say: 

Bear even foes upon your back, .... 


and the rest of it. Thus, O King, just as Slow-Poison 
destroyed the frogs through the power of intelligence, 
so did I destroy all the enemy. There is much wisdom 
in this: 

The forest-fire leaves roots entire. 
Though trunks remain a shell; 
The flooding pool of water cool 
Uproots the roots as well." 

"Very true," said Cloudy. "And besides: 

This is the greatness of the great 
Whom gems of wisdom decorate; 
Despite what hurts and hinders, too. 
They see an undertaking through." 

"Very true," said Live-Strong. "And once again: 

The final penny of a debt. 

The final foeman dire. 
The final twinges of disease. 

The final spark of fire — 
Finality on these imposed 

Leaves nothing to desire. 

"O King, you are truly fortunate. For your under- 
taking has had final success. Indeed, valor is not 
sufficient to end a matter. Victory is wisdom's busi- 
ness. As the proverb says: 

'Tis not the sword destroys a foe, 
"Tis wit that utterly lays low: 

Swords kill the body; wit destroys 

Fame, family, and regal joys. 


"Thus, success comes with minimum effort to a 
man of wisdom and manliness. For 

\^risdom broods o'er the inception; 

Memory does not fail; 
Means appear to predilection; 

Counsels wise prevail; 
Sparkles fruitfiil meditation; 

Mind attains its height; 
Joy achieves its consummation 

In a worthy fight. 

"Thus kingship belongs to the man possessing 
prudence, capacity for self-sacrifice, and courage. As 
the verse puts it: 

Associate in full delight 

With someone who is wise. 
Self-sacrificing, brave; thereby 

Win virtue as a prize; 
On virtue follows money; and 

On money follows fame; 
Then, personal authority; 

And then, the kingly name." 

And Cloudy replied: "It is wonderful how im- 
mediate is the reward of knowing social ethics. By 
virtue of which you penetrated and exterminated 
Foe-Crusher with his retinue." Whereupon Live- 
Strong said: 

"Where at last you need sharp measures, 

First try gentle measures there: 
Thus the lofty, lordly tree-trunk 
Is not felled without a prayer. 


"And yet, O my king, why say of a future matter 
either that it involves no effort or that it is not readily 
attainable? There is wisdom in the saying: 

Since words with actions fail to suit, 
The timidly irresolute 
Who see a thousand checks and blocks 
Turn into public laughingstocks. 

Nor are thoughtful men heedless even in minor 
matters. For 

The negligent who say: 
'Some day, some other day — 
The thing is petty, small; 
Demands no thought at all,' 
Are, heedless, headed straight 
For that repentant state 
That ever comes too late. 

"But as for my master, who has overcome his 
foes, he may sleep tonight as soundly as ever he did. 
You know the saying: 

In houses where no snakes are found. 
One sleeps; or where the snakes are bound: 
But perfect rest is hard to win 
With serpents bobbing out and in. 

"And again: 

A noble purpose to attain 

Desiderates extended pain. 

Asks man's full greatness, pluck, and care. 

And loved ones aiding with a prayer. 

Yet if it climb to heart's desire. 

What man of pride and fighting fire. 


Of passion, and of self-esteem 
Can bear the unaccomplished dream? 
His heart indignantly is bent 
(Through its achievement) on content. 

"Therefore my heart is at peace. For I saw the 
undertaking through. Therefore may you now long 
enjoy this kingdom without a thorn — intent on the 
safeguarding of your people — your royal umbrella, 
throne, and glory unshaken through the long succes- 
sion of son, grandson, and beyond. Remember: 

A king should bring his people ease. 
But he should also aim to please; 
His reign is else of litde note, 
A neck-teat on a female goat. 

And once again: 

Love of virtue, scorn of vice, 
Wisdom — make a kingdom's price. 
Then is Glory proud as slave. 
Then her plumes and pennons brave 
Near the white umbrella wave. 

"Nor must you, in the thought, 'My kingdom is 
won,' shatter your soul with the intoxication of 
glory. And this because the power of kings is a thing 
uncertain. Kingly glory is hard to climb as a bam- 
boo-stem; hard to hold, being ready to tumble in a 
moment, with whatever effort it be held upright; 
even though conciliated, yet sure to slip away at last; 
fidgety as the bandar-log; unequilibrated as water on 
a lotus-leaf; mutable as the wind's path; untrust- 
worthy as rogues' friendship; hard to tame as a ser- 


pent; gleaming but a moment like a strip of evening 

cloud; fragile by nature, like the bubbles on water; 

ungrateful as the substance of man's body; lost in 

the moment of attainment, like the treasure of a 

dream. And furthermore: 

Whenever kings anointed are, 
Let wit spy trouble from afar; 
Anointing-jars too often spill, 
With holy water, pending ill. 

"And no man in the wide world is beyond the 

clutch of pending ill. As the poet sings: 

Remember Rama, wandering far; 
Remember Nala's sinking star; 
With Bali's bonds, the Vrishnis' tomb. 
And Lanka's monster-monarch's doom; 
The Pandus' forest-borne disaster. 
And knighdy Arjun, dancing-master. 
Time brings us woe in coundess shapes. 
What savior is there? Who escapes? 

Ah, where is Dasharath, who rose to heaven 

And dwelt its king beside? 
Ah, where King Sagar, he to whom 'twas given 

To bind the ocean's tide? 
Where arm-born Prithu? Where is Manu gone. 

Sun-child (yet suns still rise) ? 
Imperious Time awakened them at dawn. 

At evening closed their eyes. 

And again: 

Where is Mandhatar, conqueror supreme? 

Where Satyavrat, the king? 
God-ruling Nahush? Keshav, e'er the gleam 

Of science following? 


They and their lordly elephants, I ween. 

Their cars, their heavenly throne. 
By lofty Time conferred, in Time were seen. 

And lost through Time alone. 

And yet again: 

The king, his counselors. 

His maidens gay. 
His golden groves, Fate stings. 

They sink away. 

"Thus, having won kingly glory, quivering like 
the ear of a rogue elephant, take delight in her, but 
trust in wisdom only." 

Here ends Book III, called "Crows and Owls," 
which treats of peace, war, and the other four expedi- 
ents. The first verse runs: 

Reconciled although he be. 
Never trust an enemy. 
For the cave of owls was burned. 
When the crows with fire returned. 


Here, then, begins Book IV, called "Loss of 
Gains." The first verse runs: 

Blind folly always has to pay 
For giving property away 
Because of blandishments and guile — 
The monkey tricked the crocodile. 

"How was that?" asked the princes. And Vishnu- 
sharman told the story of 


On the shore of the sea was a great rose-apple 
tree that was never without fruit. In it lived a mon- 
key named Red-Face. 

Now one day a crocodile named Ugly-Mug crawled 
out of the ocean under the tree and burrowed in the 
soft sand. Then Red-Face said: "You are my guest, 
sir. Pray eat these rose-apples which I throw you. 
You will find them like nectar. You know the prov- 

A fool or scholar let him be. 

Pleasant or hideous to see, 

A guest, when offerings are given. 

Is useful as a bridge to heaven. 

Ask not his home or education. 
His family or reputation, 



But offer thanks and sacrifice: 
For so prescribes the lawbook wise. 

And again: 

By honoring the guests who come 
Wayworn from some far-distant home 
To share the sacrifice, you go 
The noblest way that mortals know. 

And once again: 

If guests unhonored leave your door, 
And sadly sighing come no more, 
Your fathers and the gods above 
Turn from you and forget their love." 

Thus he spoke and offered rose-apples. And the 
crocodile ate them and enjoyed a long and pleasant 
conversation with the monkey before returning to 
his home. So the monkey and the crocodile rested 
each day in the shade of the rose-apple tree. They 
spent the time in cheerful conversation on various 
subjects, and were happy. 

Now the crocodile went home and gave his wife 
the rose-apples which he had not eaten. And one 
day she asked him: "My dear husband, where do you 
get such fruits? They are like nectar." 

"My dear," he said, "I have an awfully good 
friend, a monkey named Red-Face. He gives me these 
fruits in the most courteous manner." 

Then she said: "If anyone eats such nectar fruit 
every day, his heart must be turned to nectar. So, 


if you value your wife, give me his heart, and I will 
eat it. Then I shall never grow old or sick, but will 
be a delightful companion for you." 

But he objected: "In the first place, my dear, 
he is our adopted brother. Secondly, he gives us 
fruit. I cannot kill him. Please do not insist. Be- 
sides, there is a proverb: 

To give us birth, we need a mother; 
For second birth we need another: 
And friendship's brothers seem by far 
More dear than natural brothers are." 

But she said: "You have never refused me before. 
So I am sure it is a she-monkey. You love her and 
spend the whole day with her. That is why you will 
not give me what I want. And when you meet me at 
night, your sighs are hot as a flame of fire. And when 
you hold me and kiss me, you do not hug me tight. 
I know some other woman has stolen into your 

Then the crocodile was quite dejected, and said to 

his wife: 

When I am at your feet 
And at your service, sweet. 
Why do you look at me 
With peevish jealousy? 

But her face swam in tears when she heard him, 
and she said: 

"You love her, you deceiver; 
Your wishes never leave her; 


Her pretty shamming steals upon your heart. 

My rivalry is vain, sir; 

And so I pray abstain, sir, 
From service that is only tricky art. 

"Besides, if you do not love her, why not kill her 
when I ask you? And if it is really a he-monkey, why 
should you love him ? Enough ! Unless I eat his heart, 
I shall starve myself to death in your house." 

Now when he saw how determined she was, he 
was distracted with anxiety, and said: "Ah, the 
proverb is right: 

Remember that a single grab 
Suffices for a fish or crab. 
For fool or woman; and 'tis so 
For sot, cement, or indigo. 

"Oh, what shall I do? How can I kill him?" With 
these thoughts in mind, he visited the monkey. 

Now the monkey had missed his friend, and when 
he saw him afflicted, he said: "My friend, why have 
you not been here this long time? Why don't you 
speak cheerfully, and repeat something witty?" 

The crocodile replied: "My friend and brother, 
my wife scolded me today. She said: 'You ungrateful 
wretch! Do not show me your face. You are living 
daily at a friend's expense, and make him no return. 
You do not even show him the door of your house. 
You cannot possibly make amends for this. There is 
a saying: 


The Brahman-murderer or thief, 
Drunkard or liar, finds relief; 
While for ingratitude alone 
No expiation will atone. 

'"I regard this monkey as my brother-in-law. So 
bring him home, and we will make some return for 
his kindness. If you refuse, I will see you later in 
heaven.' Now I could not come to you until she had 
finished her scolding. And this long time passed while 
I was quarreling with her about you. So please come 
home with me. Your brother's wife has set up an 
awning. She has fixed her clothes and gems and 
rubies and all that, to pay you a fitting welcome. She 
has hung holiday garlands on the doorposts. And 
she is waiting impatiently." 

"My friend and brother," said the monkey, 
"your lady is very kind. It is quite according to the 

Six things are done by friends: 

To take, and give again; 
To listen, and to talk; 
To dine, to entertain. 

"But we monkeys live in trees, and your home is 
in the water. How can I go there? Rather bring 
your lady here, brother, that I may bow down and 
receive her blessing." 

The crocodile said: "My friend, our home is on a 
lovely sand-bank under the water. So climb on my 
back and travel comfortably with nothing to fear." 


When the monkey heard this, he was delighted 
and said: "If that is possible, my friend, then hasten. 
Why delay? Here I am on your back." 

But as he sat there and saw the crocodile swim- 
ming in the bottomless ocean, the monkey was terri- 
bly frightened and said: "Go slow, brother. My 
whole body is drenched by the great waves." 

And the crocodile thought when he heard this: 
"If he fell from my back, he could not move an inch, 
the water is so deep. He is in my power. So I will 
tell him my purpose, and then he can pray to his 
favorite god." 

And he said: "Sir, I have deceived you and 
brought you to your death, because my wife bade 
me do it. So pray to your favorite god." 

"Brother," said the monkey, "what harm have I 
done her or you? Why have you planned to kill 

"Well," replied the crocodile, "those nectar fruits 
tasted so sweet that she began to long to eat your 
heart. That is why I have done this." 

Then the quick-witted monkey said: "If that is 
the case, sir, why didn't you tell me on shore? For 
then I might have brought with me another heart, 
very sweet indeed, which I keep in a hole in the rose- 
apple tree. As it is, I am forlorn in this heart, at 
being taken to her in vain, without my sweet heart." 

When he heard this, the crocodile was delighted 
and said: "If you feel so, my friend, give me that 


other heart. And my cross wife will eat it and give 
up starving herself. Now I will take you back to the 
rose-apple tree." 

So he turned back and swam toward the rose- 
apple tree, while the monkey murmured a hundred 
prayers to every kind of a god. And when at last he 
came to shore, he hopped and jumped farther and 
farther, climbed up the rose-apple tree, and thought: 
"Hurrah! My life is saved. Surely, the saying is a 
good one: 

We dare not trust a rogue; nor must 
We trust in those deserving trust: 
For danger follows, and we fall 
Destroyed and ruined, roots and all. 

So today is my rebirthday." 

The crocodile said: "My friend and brother, 
give me the heart, so that my wife may eat it and give 
up starving herself." 

Then the monkey laughed, and scolded him, say- 
ing: "You fool! You traitor! How can anyone have 
two hearts? Go home, and never come back under 
the rose-apple tree. You know the proverb: 

Whoever trusts a faithless friend 

And twice in him believes, 
Lays hold on death as certainly 

As when a mule conceives." 

Now the crocodile was embarrassed when he 
heard this, and he thought: "Oh, why was I such a 
fool as to tell him my plan? If I can possibly win his 


confidence again, I will do it." So he said: "My 
friend, she has no need of a heart. What I said was 
just a joke to test your sentiments. Please come to 
our house as a guest. Your brother's wife is most 
eager for you." 

The monkey said: "Rascal! Go away this mo- 
ment. I will not come. For 

The hungry man at nothing sticks; 
The poor man has his heartless tricks. 
Tell Handsome, miss, that Theodore 
Will see him in the well no more." 

"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told the story of 

There was once a frog-king in a well, and his name 
was Theodore. One day when tormented by his 
relatives, he climbed from bucket to bucket up the 
water-wheel, and finally emerged. Then he thought: 
"How can I pay those relatives back? For the prov- 
erb says: 

While one brings comfort in distress. 

Another jeers at pain; 
By paying both as they deserve, 

A man is born again." 

With this in mind, he saw a black snake named 
Handsome crawling out of his hole. And on seeing 
him, he thought once more: "I will invite that black 
snake into the well, and clean out all my relatives. 
For the saying goes: 


A sliver draws a sliver out; 

Just so the wise employ 
Grim foes to slaughter foes; and thus 

Turn danger into joy." 

Having come to this conclusion, he went to the 
mouth of the hole and called: "Come out! Come 
out, Handsome! Come out!" But when the snake 
heard this, he thought: "Whoever he may be that 
is calling me, he does not belong to my race. That is 
no snake's voice. And I have no alliance with any- 
one else in the living world. So I will just stay here 
until I am sure who he may be. For the proverb 


Until you have full information 
Of prowess, character, and station. 
To no man let your trust be given — 
Such is the current saw in heaven. 

Perhaps it is some conjurer or druggist who is calling 
me in order to put me in a cage. Or a man who bears 
a grudge and summons me in the interest of his 

So he said: "Who are you?" The other said: "I 
am a frog-king named Theodore, and I have come 
to make friends with you." 

When the snake heard this, he said: "Why, it is 
incredible. Does grass make friends with fire? You 
know the proverb: 

You do not, even in a dream. 

Approach the kind of foe 
Who kills at sight. What can you mean? 

Why should you babble so?" 


But Theodore said: "You are quite right, sir. 
You are my born enemy. And yet I come to you be- 
cause I have been insulted. You know well: 

When all your property is goi^e 

And life itself at stake — 
To save that life and property 

You grovel to a snake." 

The snake said: "Well, who insulted you ?" And 
the frog answered: "My relatives." "But where is 
your home?" asked the snake. "In a pond? or a 
well? or a cistern? or a tank.?" "My home is in a 
well," said the frog. "But," said the snake, "I can't 
get in. And if I could, there is no place for me to lie 
while killing your relatives. Begone. Besides, you 

Eat only what will swallow 

And gratify the hollow 

Within with good digestion — 

Put not your health in question." 

But Theodore replied: "No, sir. Come with me. 
I will show you an easy way into the well. And inside 
there is a very attractive hole at water-level. There 
you can lie, and you will find it child's play to finish 
my relatives." 

Then the snake reflected: "Yes, I am old. Now 
and then, with great effort, I catch one mouse. And 
often I don't. Yes, yes. The proverb is right: 

When strength is ebbing, dying. 
When friends are gone, and wife. 


The prudent should be trying 
A carpet-slippery life." 

After these reflections, he said: "Well, Theodore, 
if you really mean it, lead the way. We will go to- 
gether." "Friend Handsome," said Theodore, "I 
will take you there by an easy way and show you the 
resting-place. But you must spare my family. You 
must not eat any except those I point out." 

"My dear fellow," said the snake, "you and I are 
now friends. Have no fear. I will do nothing but 
what you wish." 

Then he came out of his hole, hugged the frog, 
and started off with him. So they came to the edge 
of the well, and the snake went in with the frog by 
way of the buckets on the water-wheel. Then Theo- 
dore settled the black snake in the hole and showed 
him the relatives. And he ate them all one after 
another. And lacking relatives, he made up to a few 
of the friends, and ate them, too, with much circum- 

Then the snake said: "My dear fellow, I have 
disposed of your enemies. Please give me something 
to eat, for you brought me here." 

"But, my dear fellow," said Theodore, "you have 
done what a friend should do. Pray return by way of 
the buckets." 

"Friend Theodore," said Handsome, "you make a 
serious mistake. How can I go home? My hole was 
my fortress, and it is surely occupied by strangers. 


Here I stay, and you must give me a £pog at a time, 
even from your own family. If not, I will eat every 

At this, Theodore was disturbed in spirit, and 
reflected: "Oh, what was I about when I brought 
him here? And if I deny him now, he will eat every 
one. Yes, the proverb is right: 

Whoever fraternizes with 

Too vigorous a foe. 
Is eating poison, and will soon 

Perceive it to be so. 

"So I will give him one a day, even if it must be a 
friend. For they say: 

Calm with a prudent, petty bribe 

A foe who may desire 
To seize your all. So calms the sea 

Its fierce subaqueous fire. 

And again: 

Tis wise, when all is threatened. 

To give a half, and guard 
The other half to win one's ends; 

For total loss is hard. 

And yet again: 

No prudent soul would lose 
Much good for litde use; 
Prudence implies much gain 
Acquired with litde pain." 

So he made up his mind, and assigned a frog a day. 
And the snake ate this one and another, too, behind 
the frog-king's back. Ah, it is too true: 


As muddied garments dirty 

All that you sit upon. 
So, when one virtue tumbles, 

The rest are quickly gone. 

Now one day, while eating frogs, he ate a frog 
named Theodosius, the son of Theodore. And Theo- 
dore, seeing him do it, wailed with piercing shrillness. 
But his wife said: 

"Why so shrill? You were still 
While you worked your cruel will. 
Hope has fled with your dead; 
Who will save your hapless head? 

So think out a plan of escape this very day, or else a 
scheme to kill him." 

Now in course of time the frogs were finished one 
and all; only Theodore remained. And then Hand- 
some said: "My dear Theodore, I am hungry and 
all the frogs are finished. Please give me something 
to eat, for you brought me here." 

Theodore said: "My friend, feel no anxiety on 
that head while I am alive. If you permit me to leave, 
I will persuade the frogs in other wells, and bring 
them all here." 

The snake said: "Well, I can't eat you, for you 
are like a brother. Now if you do as you say, you 
will be like a father." 

So the frog planned his escape, and left the well, 
while Handsome waited there, impatient for his 


return. But after a long time Handsome said to a 
lizard that lived in another hole in the same well: 
"My dear madam, do me a small favor, since Theo- 
dore is an old friend of yours. Please go and find him 
in some pool or other, and take him a message from 
me. Tell him to return quickly, alone if need be, if 
no other frogs will come. I cannot live here without 
him. And tell him that if I hurt him, he may have 
all the merit I have acquired in a lifetime." 

So the lizard did as she was bid, quickly hunted 
Theodore out, and said: "My dear sir, your friend 
Handsome is waiting, waiting for your return. Please 
hurry back. And furthermore, in case of his doing 
you any harm, he pledges you the merit acquired in a 
lifetime. So drop all anxious thoughts, and come 
home." But Theodore said: 

The hungry man at nothing sticks; 
The poor man has his heartless tricks. 
Tell Handsome, miss, that Theodore 
Will see him in the well no more. 

And so he sent her back. 

"So then, you rascally water-beast! Like Theo- 
dore, I will never, never enter your house." 

When he heard this, the crocodile said: "My good 
friend, you are quite wrong. I beg of you to come to 
my house, and so wipe out my sin of ingratitude. 
Otherwise, I shall starve myself to death on your 


"You fool!" said the monkey, "shall I go there 
like Flop-Ear, in full sight of the danger, and let my- 
self be killed?" 

"But who was Flop-Ear?" asked the crocodile. 
"And how did he perish in full sight of the danger? 
Please tell me." So the monkey told the story of 


There was once a lion named Fierce-Mane, who 
lived in a part of a forest. And for servant he had a 
jackal, a faithful drudge named Dusty. 

Now one day the lion fought with an elephant, 
and took such cruel wounds on his body that he 
could not stir a foot. And since the master could not 
stir. Dusty grew feeble, for his throat was pinched by 
hunger. Then he said to the lion: "O King, I am 
tortured with hunger until I cannot drag one foot 
after another. So how can I serve you?" "My good 
Dusty," said the lion, "hunt out some animal that 
I can kill even in my present state." 

So the jackal went hunting, and dragging himself 
to a nearby village, he saw beside a tank a donkey 
named Flop-Ear who was choking over the thin and 
prickly grass. And he drew near and said: "Uncle, 
my respects to you. It is long since we met. How 
have you grown so feeble?" 

And Flop-Ear answered: "What am I to do, 
nephew? The laundryman is merciless, and tortures 
me with dreadful burdens. And he never gives me a 


When the monkey heard this, he was delighted 
and said: "If that is possible, my friend, then hasten. 
Why delay? Here I am on your back." 

But as he sat there and saw the crocodile swim- 
ming in the bottomless ocean, the monkey was terri- 
bly frightened and said: "Go slow, brother. My 
whole body is drenched by the great waves," 

And the crocodile thought when he heard this: 
"If he fell from my back, he could not move an inch, 
the water is so deep. He is in my power. So I will 
tell him my purpose, and then he can pray to his 
favorite god." 

And he said: "Sir, I have deceived you and 
brought you to your death, because my wife bade 
me do it. So pray to your favorite god." 

"Brother," said the monkey, "what harm have I 
done her or you? Why have you planned to kill 

"Well," replied the crocodile, "those nectar fruits 
tasted so sweet that she began to long to eat your 
heart. That is why I have done this." 

Then the quick-witted monkey said: "If that is 
the case, sir, why didn't you tell me on shore? For 
then I might have brought with me another heart, 
very sweet indeed, which I keep in a hole in the rose- 
apple tree. As it is, I am forlorn in this heart, at 
being taken to her in vain, without my sweet heart." 

When he heard this, the crocodile was delighted 
and said: "If you feel so, my friend, give me that 


other heart. And my cross wife will eat it and give 
up starving herself. Now I will take you back to the 
rose-apple tree." 

So he turned back and swam toward the rose- 
apple tree, while the monkey murmured a hundred 
prayers to every kind of a god. And when at last he 
came to shore, he hopped and jumped farther and 
farther, climbed up the rose-apple tree, and thought: 
"Hurrah! My life is saved. Surely, the saying is a 
good one: 

We dare not trust a rogue; nor must 
We trust in those deserving trust: 
For danger follows, and we fall 
Destroyed and ruined, roots and all. 

So today is my rebirthday." 

The crocodile said: "My friend and brother, 
give me the heart, so that my wife may eat it and give 
up starving herself." 

Then the monkey laughed, and scolded him, say- 
ing: "You fool! You traitor! How can anyone have 
two hearts? Go home, and never come back under 
the rose-apple tree. You know the proverb: 

Whoever trusts a faithless friend 

And twice in him believes, 
Lays hold on death as certainly 

As when a mule conceives." 

Now the crocodile was embarrassed when he 
heard this, and he thought: "Oh, why was I such a 
fool as to tell him my plan? If I can possibly win his 


confidence again, I will do it." So he said: "My 
friend, she has no need of a heart. What I said was 
just a joke to test your sentiments. Please come to 
our house as a guest. Your brother's wife is most 
eager for you." 

The monkey said: "Rascal! Go away this mo- 
ment. I will not come. For 

The hungry man at nothing sticks; 
The poor man has his heartless tricks. 
Tell Handsome, miss, that Theodore 
Will see him in the well no more." 

"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told the story of 

There was once a frog-king in a well, and his name 
was Theodore. One day when tormented by his 
relatives, he climbed from bucket to bucket up the 
water-wheel, and finally emerged. Then he thought: 
"How can I pay those relatives back? For the prov- 
erb says: 

While one brings comfort in distress. 

Another jeers at pain; 
By paying both as they deserve, 

A man is born again." 

With this in mind, he saw a black snake named 
Handsome crawling out of his hole. And on seeing 
him, he thought once more: "I will invite that black 
snake into the well, and clean out all my relatives. 
For the saying goes: 


A sliver draws a sliver out; 

Just so the wise employ 
Grim foes to slaughter foes; and thus 

Turn danger into joy." 

Having come to this conclusion, he went to the 
mouth of the hole and called: "Come out! Come 
outj Handsome! Come out!" But when the snake 
heard this, he thought: "Whoever he may be that 
is calling me, he does not belong to my race. That is 
no snake's voice. And I have no alliance with any- 
one else in the living world. So I will just stay here 
until I am sure who he may be. For the proverb 

Until you have full information 
Of prowess, character, and station. 
To no man let your trust be given — 
Such is the current saw in heaven. 

Perhaps it is some conjurer or druggist who is calling 
me in order to put me in a cage. Or a man who bears 
a grudge and summons me in the interest of his 

So he said: "Who are you?" The other said: "I 
am a frog-king named Theodore, and I have come 
to make friends with you." 

When the snake heard this, he said: "Why, it is 
incredible. Does grass make friends with lire? You 
know the proverb: 

You do not, even in a dream. 

Approach the kind of foe 
Who kills at sight. What can you mean? 
Why should you babble so?" 


But Theodore said: "You are quite right, sir. 
You are my born enemy. And yet I come to you be- 
cause I have been insulted. You know well: 

When all your property is goi^e 

And life itself at stake — 
To save that life and property 

You grovel to a snake." 

The snake said: "Well, who insulted you?" And 
the frog answered: "My relatives." "But where is 
your home?" asked the snake. "In a pond? or a 
well? or a cistern? or a tank?" "My home is in a 
well," said the frog. "But," said the snake, "I can't 
get in. And if I could, there is no place for me to lie 
while killing your relatives. Begone. Besides, you 

Eat only what will swallow 

And gratify the hollow 

Within with good digestion — 

Put not your health in question." 

But Theodore replied: "No, sir. Come with me. 
I will show you an easy way into the well. And inside 
there is a very attractive hole at water-level. There 
you can lie, and you will find it child's play to finish 
my relatives." 

Then the snake reflected: "Yes, I am old. Now 
and then, with great effort, I catch one mouse. And 
often I don't. Yes, yes. The proverb is right: 

When strength is ebbing, dying. 
When friends are gone, and wife. 


The prudent should be trying 
A carpet-slippery life." 

After these reflections, he said: "Well, Theodore, 
if you really mean it, lead the way. We will go to- 
gether." "Friend Handsome," said Theodore, "I 
will take you there by an easy way and show you the 
resting-place. But you must spare my family. You 
must not eat any except those I point out." 

"My dear fellow," said the snake, "you and I are 
now friends. Have no fear. I will do nothing but 
what you wish." 

Then he came out of his hole, hugged the frog, 
and started off with him. So they came to the edge 
of the well, and the snake went in with the frog by 
way of the buckets on the water-wheel. Then Theo- 
dore settled the black snake in the hole and showed 
him the relatives. And he ate them all one after 
another. And lacking relatives, he made up to a few 
of the friends, and ate them, too, with much circum- 

Then the snake said: "My dear fellow, I have 
disposed of your enemies. Please give me something 
to eat, for you brought me here." 

"But, my dear fellow," said Theodore, "you have 
done what a friend should do. Pray return by way of 
the buckets." 

"Friend Theodore," said Handsome, "you make a 
serious mistake. How can I go home? My hole was 
my fortress, and it Is surely occupied by strangers. 


Here I stay, and you must give me a frog at a time, 
even from your own family. If not, I will eat every 

At this, Theodore was disturbed in spirit, and 
reflected: "Oh, what was I about when I brought 
him here? And if I deny him now, he will eat every 
one. Yes, the proverb is right: 

Whoever fraternizes with 

Too vigorous a foe, 
Is eating poison, and will soon 

Perceive it to be so. 

"So I will give him one a day, even if it must be a 
friend. For they say: 

Calm with a prudent, petty bribe 

A foe who may desire 
To seize your all. So calms the sea 

Its fierce subaqueous fire. 

And again: 

'Tis wise, when all is threatened. 

To give a half, and guard 
The other half to win one's ends; 
For total loss is hard. 

And yet again: 

No prudent soul would lose 
Much good for litde use; 
Prudence implies much gain 
Acquired with little pain." 

So he made up his mind, and assigned a frog a day. 
And the snake ate this one and another, too, behind 
the frog-king's back. Ah, it is too true: 


As muddied gannents dirty 

All that you sit upon, 
So, when one virtue tumbles. 

The rest are quickly gone. 

Now one day, while eating frogs, he ate a frog 
named Theodosius, the son of Theodore. And Theo- 
dore, seeing him do it, wailed with piercing shrillness. 
But his wife said: 

"Why so shrill? You were still 
While you worked your cruel will. 
Hope has fled with your dead; 
Who will save your hapless head? 

So think out a plan of escape this very day, or else a 
scheme to kill him." 

Now in course of time the frogs were finished one 
and all; only Theodore remained. And then Hand- 
some said: "My dear Theodore, I am hungry and 
all the frogs are finished. Please give me something 
to eat, for you brought me here." 

Theodore said: "My friend, feel no anxiety on 
that head while I am alive. If you permit me to leave, 
I will persuade the frogs in other wells, and bring 
them all here." 

The snake said: "Well, I can't eat you, for you 
are like a brother. Now if you do as you say, you 
will be like a father." 

So the frog planned his escape, and left the well, 
while Handsome waited there, impatient for his 


return. But after a long time Handsome said to a 
lizard that lived in another hole in the same well: 
"My dear madam, do me a small favor, since Theo- 
dore is an old friend of yours. Please go and find him 
in some pool or other, and take him a message from 
me. Tell him to return quickly, alone if need be, if 
no other frogs will come. I cannot live here without 
him. And tell him that if I hurt him, he may have 
all the merit I have acquired in a lifetime." 

So the lizard did as she was bid, quickly hunted 
Theodore out, and said: "My dear sir, your friend 
Handsome is waiting, waiting for your return. Please 
hurry back. And furthermore, in case of his doing 
you any harm, he pledges you the merit acquired in a 
lifetime. So drop all anxious thoughts, and come 
home." But Theodore said: 

The hungry man at nothing sticks; 
The poor man has his heartless tricks. 
Tell Handsome, miss, that Theodore 
Will see him in the well no more. 

And so he sent her back. 

"So then, you rascally water-beast! Like Theo- 
dore, I will never, never enter your house." 

When he heard this, the crocodile said: "My good 
friend, you are quite wrong. I beg of you to come to 
my house, and so wipe out my sin of ingratitude. 
Otherwise, I shall starve myself to death on your 


"You fool!" said the monkey, "shall I go there 
like Flop-Ear, in full sight of the danger, and let my- 
self be killed?" 

"But who was Flop-Ear?" asked the crocodile. 
"And how did he perish in full sight of the danger? 
Please tell me." So the monkey told the story of 


There was once a lion named Fierce-Mane, who 
lived in a part of a forest. And for servant he had a 
jackal, a faithful drudge named Dusty. 

Now one day the lion fought with an elephant, 
and took such cruel wounds on his body that he 
could not stir a foot. And since the master could not 
stir. Dusty grew feeble, for his throat was pinched by 
hunger. Then he said to the lion: "O King, I am 
tortured with hunger until I cannot drag one foot 
after another. So how can I serve you ?" "My good 
Dusty," said the lion, "hunt out some animal that 
I can kill even in my present state." 

So the jackal went hunting, and dragging himself 
to a nearby village, he saw beside a tank a donkey 
named Flop-Ear who was choking over the thin and 
prickly grass. And he drew near and said: "Uncle, 
my respects to you. It is long since we met. How 
have you grown so feeble?" 

And Flop-Ear answered: "What am I to do, 
nephew? The laundryman is merciless, and tortures 
me with dreadful burdens. And he never gives me a 


handful of fodder. I eat nothing but this prickly 
grass flavored with dust, and I do not thrive." 

"Well, uncle," said the jackal, "I know a lovely 
spot by a river, all covered with emerald grass. Come 
there and live with me. I promise you the pleasure 
of witty conversation." 

"Very well said, nephew," answered Flop-Ear, 
"but village beasts are likely to be killed by forest 
animals. So what good is your charming spot to me?" 

"No, no," said the jackal. "My paws form a 
cage to protect the spot, and no stranger has entrance 
there. Besides, there are three unmarried she- 
donkeys who were tormented just like you by 
laundrymen. They have now grown plump; they are 
young and frisky; they said to me: 'Uncle dear, go to 
some village and bring us a proper husband.' That is 
why I came to fetch you." 

Now when he heard the jackal's words, Flop-Ear 
felt his limbs quiver with love, and he said: "In 
that case, my dear sir, lead the way. We will hurry 
there." For the poet hits the mark when he says: 

You are our only nectar; you, 
O woman, are our poison, too. 
For union with you is the breath 
Of life; and absence from you, death. 

So the poor creature went with the jackal into 
the lion's presence. But the lion was dreadfully 
foolish. When he saw the donkey actually within 
range of his spring, he was so overjoyed that he 


jumped over him and landed on the other side. And 
the donkey wondered: "What, oh, what can this be?" 
For to him it seemed like the fall of a thunderbolt. 
Yet somehow — for fate was kind to him — he escaped 
quite unhurt. But when he looked back, he saw the 
egregious creature, cruel, horrifying, with bloodshot 
eyes, and he beat a hasty, terrified retreat to his own 

Then the jackal said to the lion: "Well, what does 
this mean? I saw your heroic exhibition." And the 
lion was dumfounded, and he said: "But I could not 
prepare for a spring. So what was I to do? Could an 
elephant, even, escape, if he came within range of 
my spring?" 

The jackal said: "Have your spring prepared 
next time. For I am going to bring him to you again." 
"My dear fellow," said the lion, "he saw me face to 
face and escaped. How can he be enticed here again ? 
Bring me some other animal." 

But the jackal said: "Why should you worry 
about that? I am wide awake on that point." So 
the jackal followed the donkey's tracks, and found 
him grazing in the old place. 

Now when he saw the jackal, the donkey said: 
"Well, nephew, it was a charming spot you took me 
to. I was lucky to escape with my life. Tell me, what 
was that horrible creature? He was a thunderbolt, 
but he missed me." 

Then the jackal laughed and said: "Uncle, that 


was a she-donkey. She was unspeakably lovesick, 
and seeing you, she rose up passionately to embrace 
you. But you were shy, and ran away. And as you 
disappeared, she stretched out a hand to detain you. 
That is the whole story. So come back. She has 
resolved to starve to death for your sake, and she 
says: 'If Flop-Ear does not marry me, I will plunge 
into fire or water, or will eat poison. Anyhow, I 
cannot bear to be separated from him.' So have 
mercy, and return. If not, you will be a woman- 
murderer, and the god of love will be angry. For you 

Woman is Love's victorious seal. 
Confers all good. If for their weal 
(Supposed) in heaven or for salvation 
Dull men hold her in detestation, 
Love strikes them for their sins forlorn. 
And some turn naked monks, some shorn; 
Some have red garments; others wear 
Skull-necklaces, or frowsy hair." 

So the donkey, persuaded by this reasoning, 
started off with him once more. Indeed, the proverb 

is right: 

Men, knowing better, oft commit 
A shabby deed — so strong is fate. 

But where are they who relish it, 
When once it is irrevocate? 

Thereupon the donkey, deceived by a hundred 
arguments of the rascal, came again into the presence, 
and was straightway killed by the lion, who had pre- 


pared his spring beforehand. And then the lion set 
the jackal on guard, and went himself to the river to 
bathe. Whereupon the greedy jackal ate the donkey's 
ears and heart. Now when the lion returned after ' 
bathing and repeating the proper prayers, he found 
the donkey minus ears and heart, and his soul was 
suffused with wrath, and he said to the jackal: "You 
scoundrel! What is this unseemly deed? You have 
eaten ears and heart, and my share is your leavings." 
"O King," said the jackal respectfully, "do not 
speak so. This creature was born without ears and 
heart. Otherwise, how could he have come here, have 
seen you with his own eyes, have run in terror, and 
then come back? Why, it goes into poetry: 

He came, he saw, he fled 
From your appearance dread. 
Returned, forgot his fears — 
The fool lacked heart and ears." 

So the lion was convinced by the jackal's argu- 
ment, divided with him, and ate his own share with- 
out suspicion. 

"And that is why I say that I shall not be like the 
donkey Flop-Ear. You see, you foolish fellow, you 
played a trick, but spoiled it by telling the truth, 
just like Fight-Firm. The saying is correct: 

The heedless trickster who forgets 
His own advantage, and who lets 
The truth slip out, like Fight-Firm, he 
Is sure to lose his victory." 


"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told the story of 


There was once a potter in a certain place. One 
day he carelessly ran with all his might into the 
jagged edge of a broken pot, and tumbled. And 
though the jagged edge tore his forehead, he strug- 
gled to his feet, blood streaming over his body. Now 
as the wound was unskilfully treated, the scar cica- 
trized horribly. 

After some time the land was afflicted with famine, 
and he felt the pinch of hunger. So he joined certain 
life-guards, went to another country, and became a 

Now the king noticed on his brow the horrible 
scar from the potsherd, and he thought: "Surely, 
this man is a great hero. He took a wound in front, 
on his brow." So he bestowed honors and gifts and 
the like, regarding him more graciously than all 
others. Even the princes, observing the exceptional 
favor shown him, cherished an extreme jealousy, yet 
they feared the king and said not a word. 

Now one day there was a review of picked troops. 
While the elephants were being accoutered and the 
horses caparisoned and the men inspected, the king 
took occasion to say to the potter: "O Prince, what is 
your name? And what your family? In what battle 
was this wound printed on your brow?" 


"Your Majesty," he replied, "by birth I am a 
potter, and my name is Fight-Firm. This is not a 
sword-wound- But when I was unsteady with liquor, 
I was hurrying through a courtyard littered with 
broken pots, and tumbled over one. Later the scar 
from the potsherd became a horrible cicatrice." 

Then the king reflected: "Good heavens! I was 
taken in by this potter who seemed a prince. Let a 
cuffing be administered." 

When this had been done, the potter said: "Your 
Majesty, do not treat me thus, but witness my 
adroitness in battle." "No, my friend," said the king, 
"you may be a treasure-house of all the virtues. Yet 
you must begone. You may have heard the stanza: 

Handsome you are, and valorous; 

You have a scholar's brain: 
But in your family, my boy. 

No elephants are slain." 

"How was that?" asked the potter. And the king 
told the story of 


In a part of a forest lived a lion and his wife. One 
day the lioness gave birth to twins. And the lion 
killed deer and things every day, and gave them to 
the lioness. 

But one day as he ranged the forest, he had met 
nothing when the blessed sun sank to his setting. 
As he trotted home, he found a baby jackal on the 


trail. And he pitied it because it was a baby. So he 
held it between his teeth and carefully carried it 
home, giving it to the lioness alive. 

Then the lioness said: "Have you brought any 
food, sweetheart?" And he answered: *My dear, I 
didn't find a thing today except this jackal cub. Even 
him I did not kill, for I thought: 'He is a creature 
much like us, and a baby at that.' You know the 

Never strike a hermit mild. 

Woman, clergyman, or child: 

Give your life, if needs you must — 

Do not falsify their trust. 

"Now suppose you eat him, and feel better. In 

the morning I will bring something else." 

"Sweetheart," said she, "you did not kill him 

because you thought: 'He is a baby.' So how can I 

destroy him for my belly's sake ? You know the verse 

of Scripture: 

No man may plead the death-god's might 
For doing wrong, or shirking right. 

So he shall be my third son." 

After this reply, she gave him her own milk and 
made him very fat. So the three cubs spent their 
babyhood in the same business and amusements, not 
recognizing any difference in parentage. 

Now one day a wild elephant came wandering 
into that forest. The two lion-cubs, when they saw 
him, wrathfuUy started for him, eager to kill. But 


the jackal-cub said: "Brothers, that is an elephant, 
an enemy of your race. Don't go near him." With 
this he ran home. And the other two, seeing their 
elder brother routed, felt their pluck ooze away. The 
well-known proverb is right: 

One bold and plucky fighter 

Will give an army pluck: 
One broken, routed blighter 

Diffuses evil luck. 

And, indeed. 

This is the very reason why 
Kings look for sturdy fighters, 

Heroic, dauntless, stone-wall men. 
And shun the cowardly blighters. 

Later the twin brothers went home, and humor- 
ously told their parents how their elder brother had 
behaved. "Why, you know," said they, "the minute 
he saw him, he couldn't get far enough quick enough." 

When the jackal heard this, wrath entered his 
spirit. His blossom-lip quivered, his eyes grew red, 
and a frown made two deep wrinkles on his brow. 
And he spoke harshly, scolding the twins. 

Then the lioness took him aside and admonished 
him: "You must never, never speak so, my dear. 
They are your brothers." But her patient pleading 
filled him with greater anger, and he burst upon her, 
too: "Do you think me their inferior in courage or 
beauty or science or application or skill? What right 
have they to ridicule me? I am certainly going to 
kill them." 


When she heard this outburst, the lioness laughed 
quietly — for she did not wish him to die — and said: 

"Handsome you are, and valorous; 
You have a scholar's brain: 
But in your family, my boy. 
No elephants are slain. 

Now listen carefully, my dear. Your mother was a 
jackal, and I fattened you with my own milk because 
I pitied you. Now while my twins are babies and do 
not know you for a jackal, hurry away and join your 
own people. If not, they will fight you, and you will 
tread the path of death." When the jackal heard this, 
he was terror stricken, and softly stole away to join 
his own people. 

"Just so you, too, had best decamp before these 
veterans learn that you are a potter. If not, you will 
be hooted and killed." And the potter, hearing this, 

"And that is why I say: 

The heedless trickster who forgets, .... 

and the rest of it. Oh, fool, fool ! To undertake such 
a thing for your wife! Never trust a woman. You 
must have heard the pat little anecdote: 

I left my family for her; 

I gave her half my life; 
She leaves me now without a thought; 

What man can trust his wife?" 


"How was that?" asked the crocodile, and the 
monkey told the story of 


There was once a Brahman in a certain city who 
loved his wife more than his life. But she squabbled 
with his family every day, and never rested. Since 
he could not endure the squabbling, yet was devoted 
to his wife, he left his family and started for another 
country far away. 

In the middle of a great forest, the Brahman's 
wife said: "My dear, I am tortured by thirst. Please 
look about for water." And he did as she requested, 
but when he returned with water, he found her dead. 

Since he loved her dearly, he fell into despair, 
but as he lamented, he heard a voice from heaven, 
saying: "Brahman, if you will give half your own 
life, your wife may live." So he performed a ceremony 
of purification, then gave a half of his own life by 
repeating the three magic words : "I give life." The 
moment he spoke, his wife stood up, alive. 

So together they drank the water, ate forest- 
fruits, and started on. Finally, they entered a flower- 
garden near a city, where the Brahman said to his 
wife: "Beloved, please stay here until I return with 
food." And he left her. 

Now in the garden was a cripple, turning a water- 
wheel and singing with a heavenly voice. When she 
heard the song, she was smitten with love, went to 


him, and said: "Dear friend, if you do not give me 
your love, you will be the murderer of a Brahman 
woman." "But what can you do with an invalid like 
me?" asked the cripple. "Be still," said she, "you 
must make me your bride." And hearing her words, 
he did so. Thereupon she said: "From this moment 
I give you my person for life. You must accompany 
us with this understanding." "Very well," said he. 

Then when the Brahman returned with food and 
began to eat with her, she said: "This cripple is 
hungry. Please give him a bite, too." When this was 
done, the lady said: "Brahman, when you go alone 
to another village, I have no one to talk to. Suppose 
we take this cripple with us." But he replied: "I 
cannot even carry myself, to say nothing of this crip- 
ple." "I will carry him," said she, "if he will get into 
a basket." And the Brahman agreed, his judgment 
being bewildered by her artful argument. 

One day thereafter, as they rested near a well, 
the wife, aided by the cripple, gave the Brahman a 
push and plunged him in. And she took the cripple 
and went to a city. There the policemen, making 
their rounds to attend to taxes, robberies, and pro- 
tection, saw the basket on her head, snatched it from 
her, and took it to the king. And as soon as the king 
had it opened, he saw the cripple. 

Presently the Brahman's wife arrived, weeping 
and wailing, for she had followed on the heels of the 
policemen. And when the king asked, "What does 


this mean?" she said: "This is my invalid husband 
who was tormented by countless relatives, until, 
distracted by love, I put him on my head and brought 
him before you." And the king said: "You are my 
sister. Receive two villages, enjoy their delights 
with your husband, and make yourself comfortable." 

At this point the Brahman arrived in the same 
city, for a certain holy man, as it happened, had 
drawn him from the well, and he had wandered on. 
When the wicked wife saw him, she denounced him 
to the king. "O King," she said, "there comes my 
husband's enemy." 

And the king sentenced him to death. 

But the Brahman said: "Your Majesty, this 
woman has something which she received from me. 
If you love justice, make her give it back." "My 
good woman," said the king, "restore whatever you 
may have that belongs to him." And she replied: 
"Your Majesty, I have nothing." 

Then the Brahman said: "With three magic 
words I gave you half my life. Give me that." And 
from fear of the king she murmured, just as he had 
done, the three words "I give life," and fell dead. 

Then the king was amazed and said: "What does 
this mean?" And the Brahman related to him all 
that had gone before. 

"And that is why I say: 

I left my family for her, .... 
and the rest of it." 


Then the monkey continued: "There is another 

little anecdote that is very pat: 

What will not man for woman do. 
When heads are shorn — at odd times, too? 
What will not man for woman say, 
When those who are not horses, neigh?" 

"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told the story of 

There was once a king named Joy, lord of the sea- 
girdled earth, whose power and manliness were famed 
afar, whose footstool was reticulated with interlacing 
beams of light from the diadems of uncounted hosts 
of kneeling princes, whose glory was unspotted as 
the autumn moonbeams. He had a secretary named 
Splendor, who had absorbed the total truth of all 
the scientific textbooks, but whose wife pouted in a 
lovers' quarrel. 

"Beloved," said her husband, "tell me the means 
of appeasing you. I will adopt it without fail." And 
it cost her a struggle to say: "If you will shave your 
head and fall at my feet, then I will think of relent- 
ing." When he did so, she did so. 

Now Joy's wife became angry in just the same 
way, and would not be appeased though he begged 
her pardon. Then he said: "BelovM, I cannot live a 
moment without you. I will fall at your feet and beg 
your pardon." She said: "If you hold a bit in your 
mouth and let me climb on your back and drive you. 


and if, when driven, you neigh like a horse, then I will 
relent." And this was done. 

Next morning Splendor came before the king as 
he sat in council. And the king asked, when he saw 
him: "Good Splendor, why is your head shaved at 
this odd time?" And Splendor answered: 
What will not man for woman do. 
When heads are shorn — at odd times, too? 
What will not man for woman say. 
When those who are not horses, neigh? 

"You simpleton! You, too, are henpecked just 

like Joy and Splendor. You tried to find a means of 

killing me, because your wife asked it. But you were 

betrayed by your own speech. Yes, the proverb is 


The parrots and the grackle birds 
Are caged because they utter words: 
The stupid herons go scot-free — 
For silence is a master-key. 

And again: 

However skilful in disguise, 
However frightful to the eyes, 
Although in tiger-skin arrayed. 
The ass was killed — because he brayed." 

"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told the story of 

There was once a laundryman named Clean- 
Cloth in a certain town. He had a single donkey who 
had grown very feeble from lack of fodder. 


As the laundryman wandered in the forest, he 
saw a dead tiger, and he thought: "Ah, this is lucky. 
I will put this tiger-skin on the donkey and let him 
loose in the barley fields at night. For the farmers 
will think him a tiger and will not drive him out." 

When this was done, the donkey ate barley to his 
heart's content. And at dawn the laundryman took 
him back to the barn. So as time passed, he grew 
plump. He could hardly squeeze into the stall. 

But one day the donkey heard the bray of a she- 
donkey in the distance. At the mere sound he himself 
began to bray. Then the farmers perceived that he 
was a donkey in disguise, and killed him with blows 
from clubs and stones and arrows. 

"And that is why I say: 

However skilful in disguise, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Now while the monkey was telling these stories 
to the crocodile, another water-beast came up and 
said: "Friend crocodile, your wife has starved herself 
to death." 

When the crocodile heard this, he was bewildered 
in spirit, and lamented: "Oh, what has come upon 
me, upon hapless me? For the proverb says: 

Where a mother does not dwell 
And a wife who flatters well, 
Better leave the house, and roam 
Forests not so wild as home. 


Oh, my friend! Forgive my sins toward you. For I 
have lost her, and I plan to burn myself alive." 

When the monkey heard this, he laughed and 
said: "Come now! I knew from the very beginning 
that you were henpecked and in leading-strings. And 
this proves it. You dunderhead! You despair when 
you ought to be happy. When a wife like that dies, 
you ought to give a party. For the proverb says: 

A wife forever nagging 

And falling in a rage, 
Is not a wife, say sages. 

But premature old age. 

Therefore with patient effort 

Avoid the very name 
Of every earthly woman, 

If comfort be your aim. 

For what she feels, she does not say; 
She speaks and looks a different way; 
Far from her looks her actions veer: 
Oh, woman, woman! You are queer. 

But enough! 

One fact suffices. Cite no more! 
They kill the children that they bore. 

And yet: 

Though girls are tasteless, hard, and selfish, 
Boys think them sweet and soft and elfish." 

"True enough," said the crocodile, "but what am 
I to do? Two calamities have befallen me. First, my 
home is ruined. And second, I have quarreled with 


my friend. Yet so it goes with the unfortunate. You 
know the stanza: 

The cleverness that you have shown. 
You naked thing! is twice my own; 
Your husband and your lover fair 
Are lost. But why this vacant stare?" 


'How was that?" asked the monkey. And the 
crocodile told the story of 


There was once a farmer who lived with his wife 
in a certain place. And because the husband was 
old, the wife was forever thinking of lovers, and 
could not possibly be contented at home. Her one 
idea was strange men. 

Now a rogue who lived by pilfering, noticed her 
and said: "You lovely creature, my wife is dead, and 
I am smitten with love at the sight of you. Pray en- 
rich me with love's perfect treasure." 

And she said: "You beautiful man, if you feel 
that way, my husband has a great deal of money, 
and he is so old that he cannot stir. I will bring it, so 
that I may go somewhere with you and enjoy the 
delights of love." 

"That is satisfactory to me," he replied. "Sup- 
pose you hasten to this spot at dawn, so that we may 
go together to some fascinating city where life may 
bear for me its perfect fruit." "Very well," she 
agreed, and went home with laughing countenance. 


Then at night, while her husband slept, she took 
all the money, and reached the rendezvous at dawn. 
The rogue, for his part, put her in front, started 
south, and traveled two leagues, gaily enjoying the 
delights of conversation with her. But when he saw 
a river ahead, he reflected: "What am I to do with 
this middle-aged female? Besides, someone might 
perhaps pursue her. I will just take her money and 
be off." 

So he said to her: "My dear, this is a great river, 
hard to cross. I will just take the money and put it 
safe on the far bank, then return to carry you alone 
on my back, and so transport you in comfort." "Do 
so, my beloved," said she. 

So he took the money to the last penny, and then 
he said: "Dearest, hand me your dress and your 
wrap, too, so that you may travel through the water 
unembarrassed." And when she did so, the rogue 
took the money and the two garments and went to 
the place he had in mind. 

Then the farmer's wife sat down woebegone on 
the river-bank, digging her two hands into her throat. 
At that moment a she-jackal came to the spot, carry- 
ing a piece of meat. As she came up and peered about, 
a great fish leaped from the water and was stranded 
on the bank. On spying him, she dropped the meat 
and darted at the fish. Whereupon a vulture swooped 
from the sky and flew off with the meat. And the 
fish, perceiving the jackal, struggled into the river. 


So the she-jackal had her pains for nothing, and as 
she gazed after the vulture, the naked woman smiled 
and said: 

"You poor she-jackal! 

The vulture has your meat; 

The water holds your fish: 
Of fish and flesh forlorn, 

What further do you wsh?" 

And the she-jackal, perceiving that the woman 
was equally forlorn, having lost her husband's money 
and her lover, said with a sneer: 

"You naked thing! 

Your cleverness is twice 
As great as mine, 'twould seem; 

Lover and husband lost. 
You sit beside the stream." 

While the crocodile was telling this story, a second 
water-beast arrived and reported: "Alas! Your house 
has been occupied by another crocodile — a big fel- 
low." And the crocodile became despondent on hear- 
ing this, anxiously considering how to drive him from 
the house. "Alas, my friends!" said he. "See how 
unlucky I am. For you must know, 

A stranger occupies my house; 

My friend is sadly vexed; 
On top of that, my wife is dead. 

Oh, what will happen next? 

"How true it is that misfortunes never come 
singly! Well, shall I fight him? Or shall I address 


him with soft conciliation, and get him out of the 
house? Or shall I try intrigue? Or bribery? Ah, 
here is my monkey friend. I will ask him. For the 
proverb says: 

Ask aid of kindly teachers, man. 

The kind you ought to ask. 
Their counsel leads to sure success. 

Whatever be your task." 

After these reflections, he put the question to the 
monkey, who had climbed back into the rose-apple 
tree. "Oh, my friend," said he, "see how unlucky I 
am. For now my very house is seized and held by a 
powerful crocodile. Therefore I put it to you. Tell 
me, what am I to do? Is this the place for soft concili- 
ation or one of the other three devices?" 

But the monkey said: "You ungrateful wretch! 
Why do you still pursue me, though I asked you not 
to? You are a fool, therefore I will not even give 
you good advice. For the proverb says: 

Give counsel only when it fits 

To such as seek the best. 
The foolish monkey broke to bits 

The sparrow's cozy nest. 

"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told the story of 


In a certain wood lived a sparrow and his wife 
who had built their nest on the branch of a tree. 


One day in the month of February a monkey took 

shelter under the tree; for he had been caught in an 

unseasonable hail-storm, and his body shivered to 

the slightest breeze. Since his teeth were making 

music and his face was woebegone and his hands and 

feet were tightly clenched, the hen-sparrow said to 

him compassionately: 

With hands and feet of human plan. 
Almost you seem to be a man. 
So, if you find the weather cool. 
Why not construct a house, you fool? 

When the monkey heard this, he reflected: "Well, 
well, some people fancy themselves. Here is this 
paltry hen-sparrow who has a good opinion of her 
own judgment. The well-known saying is correct: 

Of self-conceit all creatures show 

An adequate supply: 
The plover lies with claws upstretched 

To prop the falling sky." 

Thereupon he said to her: 

You slut! You wench! You smarty! 

You needle-face! Be still. 
Or I will spoil the party; 

I will, I will, I wiU. 

But she continued to ply him with excellent ad- 
vice concerning the construction of a house, even 
after he had thus requested her not to do so. So he 
climbed the tree and destroyed her nest, breaking it 
to bits. 


"And that is why I say: 

Give counsel only when it fits, .... 

and the rest of it." 

Then the crocodile said: "Oh, my friend, I did 
wrong, but please remember our old friendship and 
give me good advice." 

"I will not tell you a thing," said the monkey, 
"because you took your wife's advice and carried me 
out to sea in order to drop me in. However much you 
love your wife, why throw friends, relatives, and 
such into the ocean just because she asks it?" 

And the crocodile answered: "My dear fellow, 
it is all true. Yet consider the maxim, 'Seven words 
make friendship,' and give me a bit of good advice. 
For there is a saying: 

Disaster cannot threaten 

The man of sterling worth 
Who offers helpful counsel — 

In heaven, or on earth. 

So, though I did you a wrong, I beg you to show for- 
giveness by giving good advice. You know the prov- 

And is there any saindihood 
In recompensing good with good? 
But worthy men go seeking still 
The saints returning good for ill." 

Then the monkey said: "Well, well, my good 
fellow, I advise you to go and fight him. For there 
is a saying: 


Sway patrons with obeisance; 

In heroes raise a doubt; 
Fling petty bribes to flunkeys; 

With equals, fight it out." 

"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told 


There was once a jackal named Supersmart in a 
part of a forest. One day he came upon an elephant 
that had died a natural death in the wood. But he 
could only stalk about the body; he could not cut 
through the tough hide. 

At this moment a lion, in his wanderings to and 
fro, came to the spot. And the jackal, spying him, 
obsequiously rubbed his scalp in the dust, clasped his 
lotus paws, and said: "My lord and king, I am 
merely a cudgel-bearer, guarding this elephant in 
the king's interest. May the king deign to eat it." 

Then the lion said: "My good fellow, under no 
circumstances do I eat what another has killed. I 
graciously bestow this elephant upon you." And the 
jackal joyfully replied: "It is only what our lord and 
king has taught his servants to expect." 

When the lion was gone, a tiger arrived. And the 
jackal thought when he saw him: "Well, I sent one 
rascal packing by doing obeisance. Now, how shall 
I dispose of this one ? To be sure, he is a hero, and 
therefore can be managed only by intrigue. For 
there is a saying: 


Where bribes and flattery would fail, 
Intrigue is certain to avail. 

And indeed, all creatures are held in bondage by 
heart-piercing intrigue. As the saying goes: 

Even a pearl, so smoothly hard and round, 
Is fastened by a thread and safely bound, 
After a way to pierce its heart is found." 

So he took his decision, went to meet the tiger, 
and slightly stiffening his neck, he said in an agitated 
tone: "Uncle, how could you venture into the jaws 
of death ? This elephant was killed by a lion, who put 
me on guard while he went to bathe. And as he went, 
he gave me my orders. 'If any tiger comes this way,' 
he said, 'creep up and tell me. I have to clear this 
forest of tigers, because once, when I had killed an 
elephant, a tiger helped himself while my back was 
turned, and I had the leavings. From that day I have 
been death on tigers.* " 

On hearing this, the tiger was terrified, and said: 
"My dear nephew, make me a gift of my life. Even 
if he is slow in returning, don't give him any news 
of me." With these words he decamped. 

When the tiger had gone, a leopard appeared. 
And the jackal thought when he saw him: "Here 
comes Spot. He has powerful teeth. So I will use him 
to cut into this elephant-hide." 

With this in mind, he said: "Well, nephew, where 
have you been this long time? And why do you seem 


so hungry? You come as my guest, according to the 

A guest in need 
Is a guest indeed. 

Now here lies this elephant, killed by a lion who 

appointed me its guardian. But for all that, you may 

enjoy a square meal of elephant-meat, provided you 

cut and run before he gets back." 

"No, uncle," said the leopard, "if things stand so, 

this meat is not healthy for me. You know the saying: 

A man to thrive 
Must keep alive. 

Never eat a thing that doesn't sit well on the stomach. 
So I will be off:" "Don't be timid," said the jackal. 
"Pluck up courage and eat. I will warn you of his 
coming while he is yet a long way off." So the leopard 
did as suggested, and the jackal, as soon as he saw 
the hide cut through, called out: "Quick, nephew, 
quick! Here comes the lion." Hearing this, the leop- 
ard vanished also. 

Now while the jackal was eating meat through 
the opening cut by the leopard, a second jackal came 
on the scene in a great rage. And Supersmart, esteem- 
ing him an equal whose prowess was a known quanti- 
ty, recited the stanza: 

Sway patrons with obeisance; 

In heroes raise a doubt; 
Fling petty bribes to flunkeys; 

With equals, fight it out — 


made a dash at him, tore him ^th his fangs, made 
him seek the horizon, and himself comfortably en- 
joyed elephant-meat for a long time. 

"Just so you, too, should fight it out with a natural 
enemy, one of your own race, and send him to the 
horizon. If you don't, he will presently strike his 
roots deep and will destroy you. You know the say- 

From cows expect subsistence; 
From Brahmans, self-denial; 
From women, fickle conduct; 
From relatives, a trial. 

"And the further saying: 

The food is very good to eat 

And does not lack variety; 
While easy-going women meet 

You in the town's society: 
But kinsmen in that foreign street 

Are wanting in sobriety." 

"How was that?" asked the crocodile. And the 
monkey told the story of 


There was once a dog named Spot in a certain 
town which was afflicted by a long famine. And as 
food gave out, dogs and others began to lose their 
homes. In fear of this. Spot felt his throat pinched 
by hunger, and he went to another country far away. 

In a city of that country he found a citizen's wife 


who was slipshod in her housekeeping, so he entered 
her house every day, and ate his fill from a diversified 
bill of fare. But as he left the house, other dogs, 
drunk with aristocratic spleen, closed in from all 
sides, and tore him in every limb with their fangs. 

Then he thought: "Better one's native land, 
where one lives at peace even in times of famine, and 
no one picks a quarrel. It is better to return to my 
own city." Having thus reasoned it through, he 
returned to his own place. 

Then his relatives asked him questions, as one re- 
turning from foreign parts: "Come now, tell us about 
it. What is the country like? How do the people 
behave? What do they eat ? And what are their 
habits ?" 

And he replied: "Why speak of the country? 

The food is very good to eat 

And does not lack variety; 
While easy-going women meet 

You in the town's society: 
But kinsmen in that foreign street 

Are wanting in sobriety." 

So the crocodile, having received his friend's 
advice, resolved to die if need be, said farewell to 
the monkey, and went to his own house. There he 
joined battle with the desperate ruffian who had 
forced a way in, put his reliance in resolute valor, 
and killed him. So he recovered his home and lived 
there happily for a long time. 


Yes, the proverb is right: 

Shun pleasant days that listless pass. 

The joy that hides 
In sloth. For deer can eat the grass 

That fate provides. 

Here ends Book IV, called "Loss of Gains." The 
first verse runs: 

Blind folly always has to pay 
For giving property away 
Because of blandishments and guile — 
The monkey tricked the crocodile. 



Here, then, begins Book V, called "Ill-considered 
Action." The first verse runs: 

Deeds ill-known, ill-recognized, 
Ill-accomplished, ill-devised — 
Thought of these let no man harbor; 
Take a warning from the barber. 

"How was that?" asked the princes. And Vishnu- 
sharman told the following story. 

In the southern country is a city called Trumpet- 
Flower. In it lived a merchant named Jewel, who 
lost his fortune by the decree of fate, though his life 
was given to the pursuit of virtue, money, love, and 
salvation. The loss of property led to a series of hu- 
miliations, so that he sank into utter despondency. 
And one night he reflected: "A curse, a curse upon 
this state of poverty! For the proverb says: 

Conduct, patience, purity, 

Manners, loving-kindness, birth. 

After money disappears, 

Cease to have the slightest worth. 

Wisdom, sense, and social charm. 

Honest pride and self-esteem, 
After money disappears, 

All at once become a dream. 



To the wisdom of the wise 

Constant household worries bring 

Daily diminution, like 
Winter breathed upon by spring. 

After money disappears. 

Keenest wisdom is at fault. 
Choked by daily fuel and clothes, 

Oil and butter, rice and salt. 

Poor and paltry neighbors scarce 

Waken sentiments of scorn. 
Like the bubbles on a stream. 

Ever dying, ever born. 

Yet the rich have license for 

All things vulgar and debased; 
When the ocean bellows, none 

Reprobate his faulty taste." 

Having thus set his mind in order, he concluded: 
"Under these circumstances, I will abandon life by 
self-starvation. What can be made of this calamity — 
life without money?" With his resolve taken, he went 
to sleep. 

Now as he slept, a trillion dollars appeared in the 
form of a Jain monk, and said: "Good merchant, do 
not lose interest. I am a trillion, earned by your 
ancestors. Tomorrow morning I will come to your 
house in this same form. Then you must club me on 
the head, so that I may turn to gold and prove in- 

On awaking in the morning, he spent some time 
pondering on his dream: "Let me think. Will this 


dream prove true or false? I cannot tell. No doubt 
it Mrill prove false, for I think of nothing but money- 
all day and all night. And the proverb says: 

Dreams that do not mean a thing 
Come to sick and sorrowing. 
Lovelorn, drunk, and worrying." 

At this moment a barber arrived to manicure his 
wife's nails. And while the barber was busy with his 
manicuring, the Jain monk suddenly appeared. When 
Jewel perceived the monk, he was delighted and 
struck him on the head with a stick of wood that lay 
handy. Whereupon the monk turned to gold and im- 
mediately fell to the ground. 

The merchant then set him up in the middle of the 
house, and said to the barber, after handing him a 
tip: "My good fellow, you must not tell anybody 
what has happened in our house." To this the barber 
assented, but when he reached home, he thought: 
"Surely, all these naked fellows turn to gold when 
clubbed on the head. So tomorrow morning I, too, 
will invite a lot of them and club them to death, in 
order to get a lot of gold." And the day and the night 
dragged away as he meditated his plan. 

In the morning he rose and went to a Jain mon- 
astery, arranged his upper garment, circumambulated 
the Conqueror thrice, sought the ground with his 
knees, laid his garment's hem over the gateway of his 
mouth, made a profound obeisance, and with an ear- 
piercing voice intoned the following hynm: 


"The saints victorious endure 
Who live by saving knowledge pure. 
Who sterilize the mind within 
By mind, against the seed of sin. 

And further: 

The tongue that praiseth Him is blest; 
The heart, in Him that seeketh rest; 
The hands are blest, and only they, 
That e'er to Him due homage pay." 

After chanting other hymns also to the same 
effect, but in great variety, he sought out the abbot 
and dropped on his knees and hands, saying: "Greet- 
ings, Your Reverence." From the abbot he received a 
benediction for the increase of his virtue, likewise 
instructions for a vow that involved the practice of 
celibacy. Then he said devoutly: "Holy sir, when 
you take your pious walk today, pray come to my 
house with your whole company of monks." 

"My dear neophyte," replied the abbot, "you 
know the holy law. How can you speak so ? Do you 
take us for Brahmans, that you invite us to eat? 
Nay, we wander each day just as it happens, and when 
we meet a pious neophyte, enter his house. Begone. 
Never speak so again." 

"Holy sir," said the barber, "I know it well. I will 
do as you say. However, you have many neophytes 
engaged in pious labors; while I, for my part, have 
made ready strips of canvas adapted to the wrapping 
of manuscripts. And for the copying of manuscripts 
and the payment of scribes, sufficient money is pro- 


vided. In view of this, pray do what seems proper." 
And so he started home. 

When he arrived there, he got ready cudgels of 
acacia wood, placed them in a corner behind the door, 
then toward noon he returned to the monastery gate 
and waited there. Then as they all came forth in 
order of dignity, he besought them as teachers, and 
led them to his house. For their part, in their greed 
for book-covers and money they passed by their 
familiar neophytes, even the pious ones, and joyfully 
flocked behind him. Well, there is sense in the verse: 

Behold a wonder! Even he 
Who lives alone, from kindred free. 
With hand for spoon, and air for dress. 
Is overcome by greediness. 

Then the barber conducted them well into the 
house and clubbed them. Under the clubbing some 
died, others had their heads broken and began to 
bawl. But when the soldiers in the citadel heard the 
howling, they said: "Well, well! What is this tre- 
mendous hubbub in the middle of town? Come 
along!" So they all scampered and saw the monks 
rushing from the barber's house, blood streaming over 
their bodies. And being asked what it meant, they 
told exactly how the barber had behaved. 

So the soldiers fettered the barber and carried him 
off to court together with such monks as had survived 
the slaughter. There the judges questioned him: 
"Come, sir! What means this shameful deed by you 


committed?" And he replied: "Gentlemen, what else 
could I do ?" And with this he related the behavior 
of Jewel. 

The judges therefore despatched a summonser, 
who returned with Jewel. And they questioned him : 
"Merchant, why did you kill a certain Jain monk?" 
And he in turn gave a full account of the original 
monk. Whereupon they said: "Well, well! Let this 
villainous barber be impaled. For his act was ill 

When this had been done, they observed: 

Deeds ill-known, ill-recognized. 
Ill-accomplished, ill-advised — 
Thought of these let no man harbor; 
Take a warning from the barber. 

And there is sound sense in this: 

Let the well-advised be done; 
Ill-advised leave unbegun: 
Else, remorse will be let loose, 
As with lady and mungoose. 

"How was that?" asked Jewel. And they told the 
story of 


There was once a Brahman named Godly in a cer- 
tain town. His wife mothered a single son and a mun- 
goose. And as she loved little ones, she cared for the 
mungoose also like a son, giving him milk from her 
breast, and salves, and baths, and so on. But she did 
not trust him, for she thought: "A mungoose is a 


nasty kind of creature. He might hurt my boy." Yes, 
there is sense in the proverb: 

A son will ever bring delight, 
Though bent on folly, passion, spite. 
Though shabby, naughty, and a fright. 

One day she tucked her son in bed, took a water- 
jar, and said to her husband: "Now, Professor, I am 
going for water. You must protect the boy from the 
mungoose." But when she was gone, the Brahman 
went off somewhere himself to beg food, leaving the 
house empty. 

While he was gone, a black snake issued from his 
hole and, as fate would have it, crawled toward the 
baby's cradle. But the mungoose, feeling him to be a 
natural enemy, and fearing for the life of his baby 
brother, fell upon the vicious serpent halfway, joined 
battle with him, tore him to bits, and tossed the pieces 
far and wide. Then, delighted with his own heroism, 
he ran, blood trickling from his mouth, to meet the 
mother; for he wished to show what he had done. 

But when the mother saw him coming, saw his 
bloody mouth and his excitement, she feared that the 
villain must have eaten her baby boy, and without 
thinking twice, she angrily dropped the water-jar 
upon him, which killed him the moment that it 
struck. There she left him without a second thought, 
and hurried home, where she found the baby safe and 
sound, and near the cradle a great black snake, torn 
to bits. Then, overwhelmed with sorrow because she 


had thoughtlessly killed her benefactor, her son, she 
beat her head and breast. 

At this moment the Brahman came home with a 
dish of rice gruel which he had got from someone in his 
begging tour, and saw his wife bitterly lamenting her 
son, the mungoose. "Greedy! Greedy!" she cried. 
"Because you did not do as I told you, you must now 
taste the bitterness of a son's death, the fruit of the 
tree of your own wickedness. Yes, this is what hap- 
pens to those blinded by greed. For the proverb says: 

Indulge in no excessive greed 
(A little helps in time of need) — 
A greedy fellow in the world 
Found on his head a wheel that whirled." 

"How was that?" asked the Brahman. And his 
wife told the story of 


In a certain town in the world were four Brahmans 
who lived as the best of friends. And being stricken 
with utter poverty, they took counsel together: "A 
curse, a curse on this business of being poor! For 

The well-served master hates him still; 
His loving kinsmen with a will 
Abandon him; woes multiply. 
While friends and even children fly; 
His high-born wife grows cool; the flash 
Of virtue dims; brave efforts crash — 
For him who has no ready cash. 


And again: 

Charm, courage, eloquence, good looks, 
And thorough mastery of books 
(If money does not back the same) 
Are useless in the social game. 

"Better be dead than penniless. As the story goes: 

A beggar to the graveyard hied 

And there 'Friend corpse, arise,' he cried; 

'One moment lift my heavy weight 
Of poverty; for I of late 
Grow weary, and desire instead 
Your comfort: you are good and dead.' 
The corpse was silent. He was sure 

'Twas better to be dead than poor. 

"So let us at any cost strive to make money. For 
the saying goes: 

Money gets you anything. 

Gets it in a flash: 
Therefore let the prudent get 

Cash, cash, cash. 

"Now this cash comes to men in six ways. They 
are: (i) begging for charity, (2) flunkeyism at a court, 
(3) farmwork, (4) the learned professions, (5) usury, 
(6) trade. 

"However, among all these methods of making 

money, trade is the only one without a hitch in it. For 

Kings' favor is a thing unstable; 
Crows peck at winnings charitable; 
You make, in learning the professions^ 
Too many wearisome concessions 
To teachers; farms are too much labor; 
In usury you lend your neighbor 


The cash which is your life, and therefore 
You really live a poor man. Wherefore 
I see in trade the only living 
That can be truly pleasure-giving. 
Hurrah for trade! 

"Now profitable trade has seven branches. They 
are: (i) false weights and balances, (2) price-boost- 
ingj (3) keeping a pawnshop, (4) getting regular cus- 
tomers, (5) a stock company, (6) articles de luxe such 
as perfumes, (7) foreign trade. 

"Now the economists say: 

False weights and boosting prices to 

An overshameless sum 
And constant cheating of one's friends 

Are fit for social scum. 

And again: 

Deposits in the house compel 

The pawnshop man to pray: 
If you will kill the owner. Lord, 

I'll give you what you say. 


The holder of a stock reflects 

With glee, though one of many: 
The wide world's wealth belongs to me; 

No other gets a penny. 


Perfumery is first-class ware; 

Why deal in gold and such? 
Whate'er the cost, you sell it for 

A thousand times as much. 


"Foreign trade is the affair of the capitalist. As 
the book says: 

Wild elephants are caught by tame: 

So money-kings, devising 
A trap for money, capture it 

With far-flung advertising. 

The brisk commercial traveler. 
Who knows the selling game, 
. Invests his money, and returns 
With twice or thrice the same. 

And again: 

The crow, or good-for-naught, or deer. 

Afraid of foreign lands, 
In heedless slothfulness is sure 

To perish where he stands." 

Having thus set their minds in order, and resolved 
on foreign travel, they said farewell to home and 
friends, and started, all four of them. Well, there is 
wisdom in the saying: 

The man whose mind is money mad. 

From all his kinsmen flees; 
He hastens from his mother dear; 

He breaks his promises; 
He even goes to foreign lands 

Which he would not elect 
And leaves his native country. Well, 

What else do you expect ? 

So in time they came to the Avanti country, where 
they bathed in the waters of the Sipra, and adored the 
great god Shiva. As they traveled farther, they met 
a master-magician named Terror-Joy. And having 


greeted him in proper Braliman fashion, they all ac- 
companied him to his monastery cell. There the 
magician asked them whence they came, whither they 
were going, and what was their object. And they re- 
plied: "We are pilgrims, seeking magic power. We 
have resolved to go where we shall find enough 
money, or death. For the proverb says: 

While water is given 

By fate out of heaven, 

If men dig a well, 

It bubbles from hell. 

Man's effort (sufBciendy great) 

Can equal the wonders of fate. 

And again: 

Success complete 

In any feat 

Is sure to bless 

True manliness. 

Man's effort (sufficiently great) 

Is just what a dullard calls fate. 

There is no toy 

Called easy joy. 

But man must strain 

To body's pain. 

Even Vishnu embraces his bride 

With arms that the churn-stick has tried. 

"So disclose to us some method of getting money, 
whether crawling into a hole, or placating a witch, or 
living in a graveyard, or selling human flesh, or any- 
thing. You are said to have miraculous magic, while 
we have boundless daring. You know the saying: 


Only the great can aid the great 

To win their heart's desire: 
Apart from ocean, who could bear 

The fierce subaqueous fire?" 

So the magician, perceiving their fitness as disci- 
ples, made four magic quills, and gave one to each, 
saying: "Go to the northern slope of the Himalaya 
Mountains. And wherever a quill drops, there the 
owner will certainly find a treasure." 

Now as they followed his directions, the leader's 
quill dropped. And on examining the spot, he found 
the soil all copper. So he said: "Look here! Take all 
the copper you want." But the others said: "Fool! 
What is the good of a thing which, even in quantity, 
does not put an end to poverty? Stand up. Let us go 
on." And he replied: "You may go. I will accom- 
pany you no farther." So he took his copper and was 
the first to turn back. 

The three others went farther. But they had 
traveled only a little way when the leader's quill 
dropped. And when he dug down, he found the soil all 
silver. At this he was delighted, and cried: "Look! 
Take all the silver you want. No need of going 
farther." "Fool!" said the other two. "The soil was 
copper first, then silver. It will certainly be gold ahead. 
This stuff, even in quantity, does not relieve poverty 
so much." "You two may go," said he. "I will not 
join you." So he took his silver and turned back. 

The two went on until one quill dropped. When 


the owner dug down, he found the soil all gold. See- 
ing this, he was delighted, and said to his companion: 
"Look! Take all the gold you want. There is nothing 
beyond better than gold." "Fool!" said the other. 
"Don't you see the point? First came copper, then 
silver, and then gold. Beyond there will certainly be 
gems. Stand up. Let us go farther. What is the good 
of this stuflF? A quantity of it is a mere burden." 
"You may go," he replied. "I will stay here and wait 
for you." 

So the other went on alone. His limbs were scorched 
by the rays of the summer sun and his thoughts were 
confused by thirst as he wandered to and fro over 
the trails in the land of the fairies. At last, on a whirl- 
ing platform, he saw a man with blood dripping down 
his body; for a wheel was whirling on his head. Then 
he made haste and said: "Sir, why do you stand thus 
with a wheel whirling on your head? In any case, tell 
me if there is water anywhere. I am mad with thirst." 

The moment the Brahman said this, the wheel left 
the other's head and settled on his own, "My very 
dear sir," said he, "what is the meaning of this?" "In 
the very same way," replied the other, "it settled on 
my head." "But," said the Brahman, "when will it 
go away? It hurts terribly." 

And the fellow said: "When someone who holds 
in his hand a magic quill such as you had, arrives and 
speaks as you did, then it will settle on his head." 
"Well," said the Brahman, "how long were you 


here?" And the other asked: "Who is king in the 
world at present?" On hearing the answer, "King 
Vinavatsa," he said: "When Rama was king, I was 
poverty stricken, procured a magic quill, and came 
here, just like you. And I saw another man with a 
wheel on his head and put a question to him. The 
moment I asked a question (just like you) the wheel 
left his head and settled on mine. But I cannot reckon 
the centuries." 

Then the wheel-bearer asked: "My dear sir, how, 
pray, did you get food while standing thus?" "My 
dear sir," said the fellow, "the god of wealth, fearful 
lest his treasures be stolen, prepared this terror, so 
that no magician might come so far. And if any 
should succeed in coming, he was to be freed from 
hunger and thirst, preserved from decrepitude and 
death, and was merely to endure this torture. So now 
permit me to say farewell. You have set me free from 
a sizable misery. Now I am going home." And he 

After he had gone, the gold-finder, wondering why 
his companion delayed, eagerly followed his foot- 
prints. And having gone but a little way, he saw a 
man whose body was drenched with blood, a man 
tortured by a cruel wheel whirling on his head — ^and 
this man was his own companion. So he came near 
and asked with tears: "My dear fellow, what is the 
meaning of this?" "A whim of fate," said the other. 
"But tell me," said he, "what has happened." And in 


answer to his question, the other told the entire his- 
tory of the wheel. 

When the friend heard this, he scolded him, say- 
ing: "Well, I told you time and again not to do it. 
Yet from lack of sense you did not do as I said. In- 
deed, there is wisdom in the saying: 

Scholarship is less than sense; 
Therefore seek intelligence: 
Senseless scholars in their pride 
Made a lion; then they died." 

"How was that?" asked the wheel-bearer. And 
the gold-finder told the story of 


In a certain town were four Brahmans who lived 
in friendship. Three of them had reached the far 
shore of all scholarship,, but lacked sense. The other 
found scholarship distasteful; he had nothing but 

One day they met for consultation. "What is the 
use of attainments," said they, "if one does not travel, 
win the favor of kings, and acquire money? What- 
ever we do, let us all travel." 

But when they had gone a little way, the eldest 
of them said: "One of us, the fourth, is a dullard, hav- 
ing nothing but sense. Now nobody gains the favor- 
able attention of kings by simple sense without schol- 
arship. Therefore we will not share our earnings with 
him. Let him turn back and go home." 


Then the second said: "My intelligent friend, you 
lack scholarship. Please go home." But the third 
said: "No, no. This is no way to behave. For we 
have played together since we were little boys. Come 
along, my noble friend. You shall have a share of the 
money we earn." 

With this agreement they continued their journey, 
and in a forest they found the bones of a dead lion. 
Thereupon one of them said: "A good opportunity to 
test the ripeness of our scholarship. Here lies some 
kind of creature, dead. Let us bring it to life by means 
of the scholarship we have honestly won." 

Then the first said: "I know how to assemble the 
skeleton." The second said: "I can supply skin, 
flesh, and blood." The third said: "I can give it life." 

So the first assembled the skeleton, the second 
provided skin, flesh, and blood. But while the third 
was intent on giving the breath of life, the man of 
sense advised against it, remarking: "This is a lion. 
If you bring him to life, he will kill every one of 

"You simpleton!" said the other, "it is not I who 
will reduce scholarship to a nullity." "In that case," 
came the reply, "wait a moment, while I climb this 
convenient tree." 

When this had been done, the lion was brought to 
life, rose up, and killed all three. But the man of 
sense, after the lion had gone elsewhere, climbed down 
and went home. 


"And that is why I say: 

Scholarship is less than sense, .... 

and the rest of it." 

But the wheel-bearer, having heard the story, re- 
torted: "Not at all. The reasoning is at fault. For 
creatures of very great sense perish if stricken by fate, 
while those of very meager intelligence, if protected 
by fate, live happily. There is a stanza: 

While Hundred- Wit is on a head, 
While Thousand- Wit hangs limp and dead. 
Your humble Single-Wit, my dear. 
Is paddling in the water clear." 

"How was that?" asked the gold-finder. And the 
wheel-bearer told the story of 


In a certain pond lived two fishes whose names 
were Hundred-Wit and Thousand-Wit. And a frog 
named Single-Wit made friends with them. Thus all 
three would for some time enjoy at the water's edge 
the pleasure of conversation spiced with witticisms, 
then would dive into the water again. 

One day at sunset they were engaged in conversa- 
tion, when fishermen with nets came there, who said 
to one another on seeing the pond: "Look! This pond 
appears to contain plenty offish, and the water seems 
shallow. We will return at dawn." With this they 
went home. 


The three friends felt this speech to be dreadful as 
the fall of a thunderbolt, and they took counsel to- 
gether. The frog spoke first: "Hundred- Wit and 
Thousand-Wit, my dear friends, what should we do 
now: flee or stick it out?" 

At this Thousand-wit laughed and said: "My 
good friend, do not be frightened merely because you 
have heard words. An actual invasion is not to be 
anticipated. Yet should it take place, I will save you 
and myself by virtue of my wit. For I know plenty of 
tricks in the water." And Hundred-Wit added: 
"Yes, Thousand-Wit is quite right. For 

Where wind is checked, and light of day, 
The wise man's wit soon finds a way. 

One cannot, because he has heard a few mere words, 
abandon his birthplace, the home of his ancestors. 
You must not go away. I will save you by virtue of 
my wit." 

"Well," said the frog, "I have only a single wit, 
and that tells me to flee. My wife and I are going to 
some other body of water this very night." 

So spoke the frog and under cover of night he went 
to another body of water. At dawn the next day came 
the fish-catchers, who seemed the servants of Death, 
and inclosed the pond with nets. And all the fishes, 
turtles, frogs, crabs, and other water-creatures were 
caught in the nets and captured. Even Hundred- Wit 
and Thousand-Wit fell into a net and were killed. 


though they struggled to save their lives by fancy 

On the following day the fishermen gleefully 
started home. One of them carried Hundred-Wit, 
who was heavy, on his head. Another carried Thou- 
sand-Wit tied to a cord. Then the frog, safe in the 
throat of a cistern, said to his wife: "Look, darling, 

While Hundred-Wit is on a head, 

While Thousand- Wit hangs limp and dead, 

Your humble Single- Wit, my dear, 

Is paddling in the water clear." 

"And that is why I say that intelligence is not the 
sole determinant of fate." 

Then the gold-finder said: "It may be so. Yet a 
friend's advice should not be disregarded. But what 
happened? Spite of my dissuasion, you would not 
stop, such was your greed and pride in your scholar- 
ship. Yes, there is sense in the stanza: 

Well sung, uncle! Why would you 
Not stop when I told you to? 
What a necklace! Yes, you wear 
Music medals rich and rare." 

"How was that?" asked the wheel-bearer. And 
the other told the story of 

In a certain town was a donkey named Prig. In 
the daytime he carried laundry packages, but was at 
liberty to wander anywhere at night. One night while 


wandering in the fields he fell in with a jackal and 
made friends. So the two broke through a hedge into 
cucumber-beds, and having eaten what they could 
hold of that comestible, parted at dawn to go home. 
One night the egotistical donkey, standing among 
the cucumbers, said to the jackal: "See, nephew! 
The night is marvelously fine. I will contribute a 
song. What sentiment shall my song express?" 
^'Don't, uncle," said the jackal. "It might make 
trouble, seeing that we are on thieves' business. 
Thieves and lovers should keep very quiet. As the 
proverb says: 

No sleepyhead should pilfer fur. 
No invalid, rich provender. 
No sneezer should become a thief — 
Unless they wish to come to grief 

"Besides, your vocal music is not agreeable, since 
it resembles a blast on a conch-shell. The farmers 
would hear you from afar, would rise, and would 
fetter or kill you. Better keep quiet and eat." 

"Come, come!" said the donkey. "Your remarks 
prove that you live in the woods and have no musical 
taste. Did you never hear this ? 

Oh, bliss if murmurs sweet to hear 

Of music's nectar woo your ear 

When darkness flees from moonlight clear 

In autumn, and your love is near." 

"Very true, uncle," said the jackal. "But your 
bray is harsh. Why do a thing that defeats your own 


purpose?" "Fool, fool!" answered the donkey. "Do 
you think me ignorant of vocal music? Listen to its 
systematization, as follows: 

Seven notes, three scales, and twenty-one 

Are modulations said to be; 
Of pitches there are forty-nine. 

Three measures, also pauses three; 

Caesuras three; and thirty-six 
Arrangements of the notes, in fine; 

Six apertures; the languages 
Are forty; sentiments are nine. 

One hundred songs and eighty-five 
Are found in songbooks, perfect, pure. 

With all accessories complete. 
Unblemished in their phrasing sure. 

On earth is nothing nobler found, 
Nor yet in heaven, than vocal song; 

The singing Devil soothes the Lord, 

When quivering strings the sound prolong. 

"After this, how can you think me lacking in 
educated taste? How can you try to hinder me?" 

"Very well, uncle," said the jackal. "I will stay by 
the gap in the hedge, and look for farmers. You may 
sing to heart's content." 

When he had done so, the donkey lifted his neck 
and began to utter sounds. But the farmers, hearing 
the bray of a donkey, angrily clenched their teeth, 
snatched cudgels, rushed in, and beat him so that he 
fell to the ground. Next they hobbled him by fasten- 


ing on his neck a mortar with a convenient hole, then 
went to sleep. Presently the donkey stood up, forget- 
ting the pain as donkeys naturally do. As the verse 
puts it: 

With dog, and ass, and horse. 

And donkey more than most, 
The pain from beatings is 
Immediately lost. 

Then with the mortar on his neck, he trampled the 

hedge and started to run away. At this moment the 

jackal, looking on from a safe distance, said with a 


Well sung, uncle! Why would you 
Not stop when I told you to? 
What a necklace ! Yes, you wear 
Music medals rich and rare. 

"Just so, you would not stop when I advised it." 
After listening to this, the wheel-bearer said: "O 

my friend, you are quite right. Yes, there is much 

wisdom in the verse: 

He who, lacking wit, does not 

Harken to a friend, 
Just like weaver Slow, inclines 

To a fatal end." 

"How was that?" asked the gold-finder. And the 
wheel-bearer told the story of 


In a certain town lived a weaver named Slow. One 
day all the pegs in his loom broke. So he took an axe, 


and in his search for wood, came to the seashore. There 
he found a great sissoo tree, and he thought: "This 
seems a good-sized tree. If I cut it down, I can make 
plenty of weaving-tools." He therefore lifted his axe 
upon it. 

Now there was a fairy in the tree who said: "My 
friend, this tree is my home. Please spare it. For I 
live here in utter happiness, since my body is caressed 
by breezes cool from contact with ocean billows." 

"But, sir," said the weaver, "what am I to do? 
While I lack apparatus made of wood, my family is 
pinched by hunger. Therefore, please move else- 
where, and quickly. I intend to cut it down." 

"Sir," said the fairy, "I have taken a liking to you. 
Ask anything you like, but spare this tree." 

"In that case," said the weaver, "I will go home 
and return after asking my friend and my wife." And 
when the fairy consented, the weaver started home. 
On entering the town, he encountered his particular 
friend, the barber, and said: "My friend, I have won 
the favor of a fairy. Tell me what to ask for." 

And the barber said: "My dear fellow, if it is 
really so, ask for a kingdom. You can be king, and I 
will be prime minister. So we shall both taste the de- 
lights of this world before those of the world to come." 

"Quite so, my friend," replied the weaver. "How- 
ever, I shall ask my wife, too." "Don't," said the 
barber. "It is a mistake to consult women. As the 
saying goes: 


Give a woman food and dresses 
(Chiefly when her trouble presses); 
Give her gems and all things nice; 
Do not ask for her advice. 

And again: 

Where a woman, gambler, child. 
As a guide is domiciled. 
Death advances, stage by stage — 
So declares the ancient sage. 

And once again : 

Only while he does not hear 
Woman's whisper in his ear. 
May a man a leader be. 
Keeping due humility. 

Women seek for selfish treasures, 
Think of nothing but their pleasures, 
Even children by them reckoned 
To their selfish comfort second." 

And the weaver rejoined: "You may be right. 
Still, I shall ask her. She is a good wife." 

So he made haste and said to her: "My dear wife, 
today we won the favor of a fairy. He offers anything 
we want. So I have come to ask you to tell me what 
to say to him. Here is my friend, the barber, who tells 
me to ask for a kingdom." 

"Dear husband," said she, "what sense have 

barbers? Do not take his advice. For the proverb 


All advice you may discard 
From a barber, child, or bard. 


Monk or hermit or musician. 
Or a man of base condition. 

"Besides, this king-business means a series of 
dreadful troubles and involves worry about peace, 
war, change of base, entrenchment, alliance, dupli- 
city, and other matters. It never g^ves satisfaction. 
And even worse. 

His very sons and brothers wish 

The slaughter of a king; 
As this is kingship's nature, who 

Would not reject the thing?" 

"Yes," said the weaver, "you are right. But tell 
me what to ask for." And she replied: "As it is, you 
turn out one piece of cloth a day, and this meets all 
our expenses. Now ask for a second pair of arms and 
an extra head, so that you may produce one piece of 
cloth in front and another behind. The price of one 
meets the household expenses, with the price of the 
other you may put on style and spend the time in 
honor among your peers." 

(On hearing this, he was delighted and said: 
"Splendid, my faithful wife! You have made a splen- 
did suggestion. I am determined to follow it." 

So the weaver went and laid his request before the 
fairy: "Well, sir, if you offer what I wish, pray ^ve 
me a second pair of arms and an extra head." And in 
the act of speaking he became two-headed and four- 

But as he came home, delight in his heart, the 


people thought he was a fiend, and beat him with 
clubs and stones and things so that he died. 

"And that is why I say: 

He who, lacking wit, does not 

and the rest of it." 

Then the wheel-bearer continued: "Yes, any man 
becomes ridiculous when bitten by the demon of 
extravagant hope. There is sense in this: 

Do not indulge in hopes 

Extravagantly high: 
Else, whitened like the sire 

Of Moon-Lord, you will lie." 

"How was that?" asked the gold-finder. And the 
other told the story of 

In a certain town lived a Brahman named Seedy, 
who got some barley-meal by begging, ate a portion, 
and filled a jar with the remainder. This jar he hung 
on a peg one night, placed his cot beneath it, and fix- 
ing his gaze on the jar, fell into a hypnotic reverie. 

"Well, here is a jar full of barley-meal," he 
thought. "Now if famine comes, a hundred rupees 
will come out of it. With that sum I will get two she- 
goats. Every six months they will bear two more she- 
goats. After goats, cows. When the cows calve, I will 
sell the calves. After cows, buffaloes; after buflFaloes, 
mares. From the mares I shall get plenty of horses. 
The sale of these will mean plenty of gold. The gold 


will buy a great house with an inner court. Then 
someone will come to my house and offer his lovely 
daughter with a dowry. She will bear a son, whom I 
shall name Moon-Lord. When he is old enough to 
ride on my knee, I will take a book, sit on the stable 
roof, and think. Just then Moon-Lord will see me, 
will jump from his mother's lap in his eagerness to 
ride on my knee, and will go too near the horses. 
Then I shall get angry and tell my wife to take the 
boy. But she will be busy with her chores and will not 
pay attention to what I say. Then I will get up and 
kick her." 

Being sunk in his hypnotic dream, he let fly such 
a kick that he smashed the jar. And the barley-meal 
which it contained turned him white all over. 

"And that is why I say: 

Do not indulge in hopes, .... 

and the rest of it." 

"Very true, indeed," said the gold-finder. "For 

Greedy folk who do not heed 
Consequences of a deed. 
Suffer disappointment soon; 
For example take King Moon." 

"How was that?" asked the wheel-bearer. And 
the other told the story of 

In a certain city was a king named Moon, who 
had a pack of monkeys for his son's amusement. 


They were kept in prime condition by daily prov- 
ender and pabulum in great variety. 

For the amusement of the same prince there was 
a herd of rams. One of them had an itching tongue, 
so he went into the kitchen at all hours of the day and 
night and swallowed everything in sight. And the 
cooks would beat him with any stick or other object 
within reach. 

Now when the chief of the monkeys observed this, 
he reflected: "Dear me! This quarrel between ram 
and cooks will mean the destruction of the monkeys. 
For the ram is a regular guzzler, and when the cooks 
are infuriated, they hit him with anything handy. 
Suppose some time they find nothing else and beat 
him with a firebrand. Then that broad, woolly back 
will very easily catch fire. And if the ram, while burn- 
ing, plunges into the stable near by, it will blaze — 
for it is mostly thatch — and the horses will be scorch- 
ed. Now the standard work on veterinary science 
prescribes monkey-fat to relieve burns on horses. 
This being so, we are threatened with death." 

Having reached this conclusion, he assembled the 
monkeys and said: 

"A quarrel of the ram and cooks 
Has lately come about; 
It threatens every monkey life 
Without a shade of doubt. 

"Because, if senseless quarrels rend 
A house from day to day, 


If foes commit an outrage on 
A house, and one forgives — 

Be it from fear or greed — he is 
The meanest man that lives. 

Now as the elderly monkey wandered about 
thirsty, he came to a lake made lovely by clusters of 
lotuses. And as he observed it narrowly, he noticed 
footprints leading into the lake, but none coming out. 
Thereupon he reflected: "There must be some vicious 
beast here in the water. So I will stay at a safe dis- 
tance and drink through a hollow lotus-stalk." 

When he had done so, there issued from the water 
a man-eating fiend with a pearl necklace adorning his 
neck, who spoke and said: "Sir, I eat everyone who 
enters the water. So there is none shrewder than you, 
who drink in this fashion. I have taken a liking to 
you. Name your heart's desire." 

"Sir, " said the monkey, "how many can you eat?" 
And the fiend replied: "I can eat hundreds, thou- 
sands, myriads, yes, hundreds of thousands, if they 
enter the water. Outside, a jackal can overpower 

"And I," said the monkey, "I live in mortal 
enmity with a king. If you will give me that pearl 
necklace, I will awaken his greed with a plausible nar- 
rative, and will make that king enter the lake along 
with his retinue." So the fiend handed over the pearl 

Then people saw the monkey roaming over trees 


and palace-roofs with a pearl necklace embellishing 
his throat, and they asked him: "Well, chief, where 
have you spent this long time? Where did you get a 
pearl necklace like that? Its dazzling beauty dims the 
very sun." 

And the monkey answered: "In a spot in the 
forest is a shrewdly hidden lake, a creation of the god 
of wealth. Through his grace, if anyone bathes there 
at sunrise on Sunday, he comes out with a pearl 
necklace like this embellishing his throat." 

Now the king heard this from somebody, sum- 
moned the monkey, and asked: "Is this true, chief?" 
"O King," said the monkey, "you have visible proof 
in the pearl necklace on my throat. If you, too, could 
find a use for one, send somebody with me, and I will 
show him." 

On hearing this, the king said: "In view of the 
facts, I will come myself with my retinue, so that we 
may acquire numbers of pearl necklaces." "O King," 
said the monkey, "your idea is delicious." 

So the king and his retinue started, greedy for 
pearl necklaces. And the king in his palanquin 
clasped the monkey to his bosom, showing him 
honor as they traveled. For there is wisdom in the 

The educated and the rich, 

Befooled by greed, 
Plunge into wickedness, then feel 

The pinch of need. 


And again : 

A hundred's mine? A thousand, please. 
Thousand? A lakh would give me ease. 
A kingdom's power would satisfy 
The lakh-lord. Kings would own the sky. 

The hair grows old with aging years; 
The teeth grow old, the eyes and ears. 
But while the aging seasons speed. 
One thing is young forever — greed. 

At dawn they reached the lake and the monkey 
said to the king: "O King, fulfilment comes to those 
who enter at sunrise. Let all your attendants be told, 
so that they may dash in with one fell swoop. You, 
however, must enter with me, for I will pick the 
place I found before and show you plenty of pearl 
necklaces." So all the attendants entered and were 
eaten by the fiend. 

Then, as they lingered, the king said to the mon- 
key: "Well, chief, why do my attendants linger?" 
And the monkey hurriedly climbed a tree before say- 
ing to the king: "You villainous king, your attendants 
are eaten by a fiend that lives in the water. My 
enmity with you, arising from the death of my house- 
hold, has been brought to a happy termination. Now 
go. I did not make you enter there, because I re- 
membered that you were the king. But the proverb 


Having suffered an offense, 
Give an evil recompense; 


For I deem it righteous still, 
Evil to repay with ill. 

Thus you plotted the death of my household, and I 
of yours." 

When the king heard this, he hastened home, grief- 
stricken. And when the king had gone, the fiend, 
fully satisfied, issued from the water, and gleefully 
recited a verse: 

Very good, my monkey-o! 
You won a friend, and killed a foe, 
And kept the pearls without a flaw. 
By sucking water through a straw. 

"And that is why I say: 

Greedy folk who do not heed 

and the rest of it." 

Then the gold-finder continued: "Please bid me 

farewell. I wish to go home." But the wheel-bearer 

answered: "How can you go, leaving me in this 

plight? You know the proverb: 

Whoever through hard-heartedness 
Deserts a friend in his distress. 
For such ingratitude must pay — 
To hell he treads the certain way." 

"That is true," said the gold-finder, "in case one 
able to aid deserts a friend in a remediable situation. 
But this situation has no human remedy, and I shall 
never have the ability to set you free. Besides, the 
more I gaze at your face, distorted with pain from the 
whirling wheel, the surer I feel that I am going to 


leave this spot at once, lest perchance the same ca- 
lamity befall me, too. There is some point in this: 

To judge by the expression. 

Friend monkey, on your face. 
You have been caught by Twilight — 

He lives who wins the race." 

"How was that?" asked the wheel-bearer. And 
the other told the story of 


In a certain city lived a king whose name was 
Fine-Army. He had a daughter named Pearl, blessed 
with the thirty-two marks of perfect beauty. 

Now a certain fiend, who wished to carry her off, 
came every evening and abused her, but he could not 
carry her off because she protected herself by drawing 
a magic circle. However, at the hour when he em- 
braced her, she experienced trembling, fever, and the 
like, the feelings that arise in the presence of a fiend. 

While matters were in this state, the fiend once 
took his stand in a corner and revealed himself to the 
princess, who thereupon said to a girl friend: "Look, 
my dear! This is the fiend who comes every evening 
at twilight's hour and torments me. Is there any 
means of keeping the ruflSan at a distance?" 

When he heard this, the fiend thought: "Aha! I 
am not the only one. There is someone else — and his 
name is Twilight — ^who comes every day to carry her 


off. But he cannot do it either. Suppose I take the 
form of a horse, go to the stable, and find out what he 
looks like and what power he has." 

When he had done so, a horse-thief came to the 
palace at dead of night. He examined all the horses, 
found the fiend-horse the finest, put a bit in his 
mouth, and mounted. Meanwhile the fiend was 
thinking: "I presume this is the fellow named Twi- 
light. He thinks me a vile creature, he is angry, he 
has come to kill me. What shall I do?" 

While he was thinking, the horse-thief struck him 
with a whip. And he was terrified and started to run. 
The thief, for his part, after traveling some distance, 
tried to stop him by tugging at the bit. And he 
thought: "Now if he were a horse, he would mind the 
bit. Instead, he goes faster and faster." 

When the thief perceived how little he minded the 
tug^ng at the bit, he reflected: "Well, well! Horses 
are not like this. This must be a fiend in equine form. 
So if I find a spot thick with dust, I will drop. It is 
my one chance of life." 

While the horse-thief was thinking and praying 
to his favorite god, the fiend-horse passed under a 
banyan tree. And the thief caught a branch and 
stuck. So both of them gained the hope of life 
from their separation, and were filled with extreme 

Now in the banyan was a monkey, a friend of the 
fiend, who said when he saw the fiend making off: 


"Look here! Why do you run from an imaginary 
danger? This is your natural food, a man. Eat 

On hearing this, the fiend took his own form and 
turned about — but his mind was disturbed and his 
purpose shaky. And when the thief saw that the 
monkey had called him back, he was angry. As the 
monkey sat above, and his tail hung down, the thief 
took it in his mouth and started to chew very hard. 
Then the monkey concluded that he was dealing with 
one more powerful than the fiend, and was too fright- 
ened to utter a word. In dreadful pain, he could only 
shut his eyes tight, clench his teeth, and wait. And 
the fiend, observing him in this state, recited the 

To judge by the expression. 
Friend monkey, on your face. 

You have been caught by Twilight — 
He lives who wins the race. 

Then the gold-finder continued: "Bid me farewell. 
I desire to go home. You may stay here and taste the 
fruit of the tree of your waywardness." 

"Oh," said the wheel-bearer, "that is uncalled for. 
Good or evil comes by fate's decree to men well-be- 
haved or wayward. As the old verse puts it: 

Blind man, hunchback, and unblest 
Princess with an extra breast — 
Waywardness is prudence, when 
Fortune favors wayward men." 


"How was that?" asked the gold-finder. And the 
wheel-bearer told the story of 


In the north country was a city called Honey- 
Town, where the king was named Honey-Host. And 
once there was born to him a daughter with three 
breasts. As soon as he learned of the birth of a three- 
breasted girl, he summoned the chamberlain and said: 
"Sir, let this girl be exposed in the forest, so that not a 
single soul may learn the fact." 

To this the chamberlain replied: "O king of kings, 
it is a well-known fact that a three-breasted daughter 
brings misfortune. In spite of this, the Brahmans 
should be summoned and their opinion asked, in order 
that no law be offended, whether human or divine. 
For the proverb says: 

A prudent man should always ask 

What is beyond his ken: 
A dreadful fiend the Brahman caught, 

But let him go again." 

"How was that?" asked the king. And the cham- 
berlain told the story of 


In a certain forest lived a fiend named Cruel. One 
day he met a Brahman in his wanderings, climbed on 
his shoulder, and said: "Now go ahead." 

So the terrified Brahman started off with him. 


But on observing that the fiend's feet were soft as a 
lotus-heart, he asked him: "Sir, why are your feet so 

And the fiend replied: "I am under a vow never 
to touch the ground with my feet until I have washed 
them." Soon the Brahman, while meditating a plan 
of escape, came to a lake. Here the fiend said: "Sir, 
do not stir from this spot until I come forth from the 
lake after bathing and worshiping the god." 

Thereupon the Brahman thought: "He will be 
sure to eat me after his worship. I will hurry away. 
For he will not follow me with unwashen feet." 

And when he did so, the fiend, not daring to break 
his vow, did not follow. 

"And that is why I say: 

A prudent man should always ask, .... 

and the rest of it." 

After listening to this, the king summoned the 
Brahmans and said: "Brahmans, a three-breasted 
daughter has been born to me. Are any remedial 
measures to be taken, or not?" And they replied: 
"O King, listen. 

A daughter fitted out with limbs 

Too numerous or few. 
Will lose her character, and will 

Destroy her husband, too. 

But if the father sees a girl 
With triple breast about. 


She dooms him to a speedy death 
Without a shade of doubt. 

"Therefore, O King, shun the sight of her. Give 
her to anyone who will marry her, but banish him 
from the country. If this is done, there is no offense 
to laws human or divine." 

When the king had listened to this opinion, he 
ordered a proclamation to be made everywhere with 
beat of drum, as follows: "Hear ye! There is a three- 
breasted princess. To anyone who marries her the 
king will give a hundred thousand gold-pieces, but 
will exile him." For a long time this proclamation 
was made without anyone marrying the princess, who 
remained in seclusion and grew to young womanhood. 

Now there was a blind man in the city, and as 
companion he had a hunchback named Slow, who 
guided him with a staff. These two heard the drum 
and consulted, saying: "In case we touch that drum, 
we get girl and gold. With the gold our life will be 
happy. And even if death results from the girl's de- 
formity, it will put a final end to the wretchedness of 
poverty. For 

Until a mortal's belly-pot 
Is full, he does not care a jot 
For love or music, wit or shame. 
For body's care or scholar's name. 
For virtue or for social charm. 
For lightness or release from harm. 
For godlike wisdom, youthful beauty. 
For purity or anxious duty." 


Not finding a knife, he went up to Slow in the old 
way, wrathfully seized him by the feet, whirled him 
about his head with every bit of strength he could 
muster, and dashed him against the chest of the three- 
breasted woman. And the blow from the hunchback's 
body forced the third breast in, while the hunchback, 
when his hump smashed against her bosom, became 

"And that is why I say: 

Blind man, hunchback, .... 
and the rest of it." 

Then the gold-finder said: "Yes, you are quite 
right in saying that good fortune always comes 
through the favor of fate. Yet, after all, a man 
should make fate his ov/n, and not desert prudence, 
as you did in rejecting my advice." 

With this the gold-finder bade him farewell and 
started home. 

Here ends Book V, called "Ill-considered Deeds." 
?rse runs: 

ill-known, ill-recognized, 

plished, ill-devised — 
f of these let no man harbor; 

arning from the barber. 

nnmD m ibx dj.a.